From Bradley Ramsey on the Tindie blog:
LiDAR technology has huge implications for future technology. These sensors provide accurate distance data to robotics platforms and drones for the purpose of collision avoidance, gesture recognition, area mapping, and motion sensing. This same kind of technology even powers modern self-driving vehicles.
MappyDot Plus, from Tindie seller SensorDots, is a micro LiDAR solution that uses the VL53L1X time-of-flight sensor from STMicroelectronics, along with an onboard controller to provide a significant amount of features from one component.
Each MappyDot+ is able to provide distance measurements, in millimeters, up to 4 meters at a non-interpolated rate up to 100Hz. The field of view is programmable from 15 to 27 degrees without additional optics.
If you chain multiple MappyDots or SensorDot boards together, you can gather multi-dimensional data about an area, similar to radar, without reducing the sampling rate. The sensor also performs low pass filtering on the motion data to offer the clearest possible picture of the environment around it.
The pulses from MappyDot+ are used for a variety of functions. Drones can utilize them to avoid collisions in mid-flight, or harness the data to optimize landings. You can even equip the sensor to doors and have them open automatically.
Each MappyDot Plus ships with the latest firmware, but new features are constantly added. You can find the latest firmware version on the Github repository. You can also chain MappyDot Plus to other SensorDots boards (a breakout board for use with MappyDot Plus) on the same bus.
Perfect for learners, Anouk’s 3D-printed headset comes with custom cat-ear PCBs, created in Autodesk EAGLE and printed by OSH Park!
Check out the tutorial on Hackster:
It’s the second iteration of the cat ears so feel free to redesign, remix, reprogram or even reverse engineer anything and everything that I am about to show you! ❤
This time – with the boards being printed at OSHPark, and an Hackster.io tutorial by me and Alex Glow that shows you how to solder these cute little boards!
This time – with the boards being printed at OSHPark, and an Hackster.io tutorial y me and Alex Glow that shows you how to solder these cute little boards!
From Roger Cheng on Hackaday:
In European medieval folklore, a practitioner of magic may call for assistance from a familiar spirit who takes an animal form disguise. [Alex Glow] is our modern-day Merlin who invoked the magical incantations of 3D printing, Arduino, and Raspberry Pi to summon her familiar Archimedes: The AI Robot Owl.
The key attraction in this build is Google’s AIY Vision kit. Specifically the vision processing unit that tremendously accelerates image classification tasks running on an attached Raspberry Pi Zero W. It no longer consumes several seconds to analyze each image, classification can now run several times per second, all performed locally. No connection to Google cloud required. (See our earlier coverage for more technical details.) The default demo application of a Google AIY Vision kit is a “joy detector” that looks for faces and attempts to determine if a face is happy or sad.
Right now, we’re running the greatest hardware competition on the planet. The Hackaday Prize is the Academy Awards of Open Hardware, and we’re opening the gates to thousands of hardware hackers, makers, and artist to create the next big thing. Last week, we wrapped up the second challenge in The Hackaday Prize, the Robotics Module challenge.…
via These Twenty Amazing Projects Won The Robotics Module Challenge — Hackaday
From Brian Benchoff on Hackaday:
PCBs are exceptionally cheap now, and that means everyone gets to experiment with the careful application of copper traces on a fiberglass substrate. For his Hackaday Prize entry, [Carl] is putting coils on a PCB. What can you do with that? Build a motor, obviously. This isn’t any motor, though: it’s a linear motor. If you’ve ever wanted a maglev train on a PCB, this is the project for you.
This project is a slight extension of [Carl]’s other PCB motor project, the aptly named PCB Motor. For this project, [Carl] whipped up a small, circular PCB with a few very small coils embedded inside. With the addition of a bearing, a few 3D printed parts, and a few magnets, [Carl] was able to create a brushless motor that’s also a PCB. Is it powerful enough to use in a quadcopter? Probably not quite yet.
Like [Carl]’s earlier PCB motor, this linear PCB motor follows the same basic idea. The ‘track’, if you will, is simply a rectangular PCB loaded up with twelve coils, each of them using 5 mil space and trace, adding up to 140 turns. This is bigger than the coils used for the (circular) PCB motor, but that only means it can handle a bit more power.
As for the moving part of this motor, [Carl] is using a 3D printed slider with an N52 neodymium magnet embedded inside. All in all, it’s a simple device, but that’s not getting to the complexity of the drive circuit. We’re looking forward to the updates that will make this motor move, turning this into a great entry for The Hackaday Prize.
From Michael Welling on the SparkFun blog:
While watching an Adafruit show-and-tell episode, I noticed that Scott Shawcroft was presenting a new feather baseboard he designed and assembled that was based on the SiFive FE310 RISC-V microcontroller. I ending up helping Scott debug his design, which in turn helped me develop some contacts at SiFive. We were using such early silicon that we even ended up helping correct mistakes in the chip documentation. In the meantime, I had created the LoFive design, using a Teensy-like form factor.
Having a design ready gave me enough leverage that SiFive ended up providing samples of the FE310. I ended up hand-assembling several of the LoFive boards, and handed most of them out for free at the Open Source Hardware Summit 2017 in Denver. After a few months, I was talking to Ron Justin from GroupGets about potential new campaigns. LoFive came up so we launched it! The LoFive campaign went on to be one of their most successful, with 257 percent funding and units that were shipped throughout the world, which was quite unexpected. During the campaign, I even got to visit to the SiFive headquarters while in San Francisco for Linaro Connect.