Hardware interaction..

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27 Replies - 10509 Views - Last Post: 08 March 2013 - 09:12 AM

#16 CreaturGames  Icon User is offline

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Re: Hardware interaction..

Posted 28 February 2012 - 04:04 PM

View Postmodi123_1, on 28 February 2012 - 09:45 AM, said:

Quote

Mindstorm never really impressed me. Maybe too much of a kid appeal... who knows.

For robot beginners, it is a good tool, but after a while, it isn't really useful. It isn't, in a sense, just a kid's tool. It is more made for people beginning to learn Robotics.

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Care to elaborate?

Sure. I used to use one robot hardware similar to Boe Bot(can't remember the name of it). It was mainly something where you pretty much decide which parts you want to use, then you program it from there.


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Like what?

I wanted to be able to used the software to "draw" a 3D model of the surroundings of the area it was in using different types of sensors, but the problem is the hardware does not allow you to do that.

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#17 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Hardware interaction..

Posted 29 February 2012 - 07:54 AM

I came across this today... very interesting.

"Sketch, simulate, and share schematics."
https://www.circuitlab.com/

Basically a web browser based electronics bench designer. Hmm.. Who would have thunk it.
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#18 CreaturGames  Icon User is offline

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Re: Hardware interaction..

Posted 29 February 2012 - 08:39 AM

View Postmodi123_1, on 29 February 2012 - 07:54 AM, said:

I came across this today... very interesting.

"Sketch, simulate, and share schematics."
https://www.circuitlab.com/

Basically a web browser based electronics bench designer. Hmm.. Who would have thunk it.

Wow, good find! I never knew they had one of these(Well, why should I be suprised?)
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#19 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Hardware interaction..

Posted 06 March 2012 - 08:00 PM

Hahahah.. I figured I would mess with a bit of the FezPanda before I hit the gym tonight.. bwahaha.. the joyous cackle as I use button eBlock, green led, and six lines of code to make the button turn off and on at my whim!
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#20 calvinthedestroyer  Icon User is offline

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Re: Hardware interaction..

Posted 06 March 2012 - 08:32 PM

see if you can find yourself a Digital Potentiometer to play with
Digital Potentiometer ICs

Then you can control the brightness of those LED's

Then find a stepper motor controller that you can build onto your robot.
Stepper motor controllers / examples

And a servo controller! MUHA HAHAHAHA!
examples of servo motor controller circuits
But you might be able to this this stuff already with the sweet hardware that you bought.
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#21 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Hardware interaction..

Posted 06 March 2012 - 08:40 PM

Potentiaometer - is already in the shield.. and my leds were fading in some funky tunes. Yup - all on top of the servo bits from the boebot.. though I should finish up those labs.. drat.. not enough time in the day!
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#22 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Hardware interaction..

Posted 08 March 2012 - 07:56 PM

Well hot dang - this internet shield is crazy easy to connect to the net.. Color me blinking-led-green impressed!
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#23 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Hardware interaction..

Posted 09 March 2012 - 07:07 PM

Well damn... I just walked through an example of making my fez a web server.. that actually served webpages and junk!
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#24 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Hardware interaction..

Posted 03 November 2012 - 09:49 PM

ProtoSnap - LilyPad Development Board DEV-11262
http://web.media.mit.../~leah/LilyPad/

I picked up a new dev kit in the mail from Sparkfun. The damn white LEDs went into testing mode and about burned out my retinas.

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(Alligator clips and orange miniUSB not included in the dev kit)
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#25 calvinthedestroyer  Icon User is offline

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Re: Hardware interaction..

Posted 06 November 2012 - 01:36 PM

View Postmodi123_1, on 03 November 2012 - 09:49 PM, said:

The damn white LEDs went into testing mode and about burned out my retinas.

Hahaha

That looks really cool.
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#26 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Hardware interaction..

Posted 06 November 2012 - 11:52 PM

Here's the run through video explaining the Lilypad.



A fun Lilypad example: Dungeons and Dragons Dice Gauntlet
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#27 calvinthedestroyer  Icon User is offline

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Re: Hardware interaction..

Posted 11 November 2012 - 11:08 PM

View PostCreaturGames, on 28 February 2012 - 08:49 AM, said:

I remember when I used to use the Boe Bot. Now days, I use either MINDSTORMS or some other robotics hardware out there.

The only problem with using some robot kits is the fact that they are so limited. When I used MINDSTORMS, I wanted to make a few things that I thought were possible, but due to the way the hardware works in the Brick, I couldn't do it.



View Postmodi123_1, on 28 February 2012 - 09:45 AM, said:

Mindstorm never really impressed me. Maybe too much of a kid appeal... who knows.

Quote

some other robotics hardware

Care to elaborate?

Quote

When I used MINDSTORMS, I wanted to make a few things that I thought were possible, but due to the way the hardware works in the Brick,

Like what?


Have you guys seen these?
lego go cart

lego go cart


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Re: Hardware interaction..

Posted 08 March 2013 - 09:12 AM

Fez Panda II: Fez to PC communications with USB
or How I stopped two ships from passing in the night.

Yes, I know (as of writing this) the Fez Panda II has been discontinued, but it is on hand and I was testing out some ideas. One of my ideas required me to just send commands to the Panda II from my PC. It sounds straight forward enough, but for some reason it was darn difficult for me... well until I understood what I was doing.

Here is that knowledge condensed for my future self (who will undoubtedly forget it), and any of you out there who are confused and a bit lost. My biggest suggestion - that darn 'internet of many things' pdf (linked below) is not just a nice overview, but does contain awesome nuggets of information. If I wouldn't have skimmed it a while back, and, say, actually read it a whole mess of confusion would have been avoided.

What is needed:
- fez panda II
- the communication shield
- the serial-to-usb block
- 2 usb (mini usb connections) cords.
- 1 pc with Visual Studios installed, the .NET microframework your Fez supports, and at least two USB ports open.


Questions:
Q1: What com port is my fez panda II?
A: It's COM1!

Posted Image

From:
FEZ_Panda_II_UserManual.pdf

Q2: Why do I need two USB cords?!
A: Well, technically, you don't. See here's a little fun fact - the USB cord into your Panda II (on the main board) isn't a communication port. Well.. I can be, but from what I read it's a pain in the hams to make it so. That's why you have the serial-to-usb block. What that is primarily used for the onboard miniUSB is: 1. transferring your compiled code to your Fez, 2. powering your Fez.

Read that line again. It took me a bit to grasp that.

So in theory you can use one cord to plug into the Fez to facilitate the compiled code transfer, unplug the cord, plug it in to the serial-to-usb, and then provide a power supply to the Fez, or you can just use it as the power supply.

Q3: How do I wire up my serial-to-usb to my Fez Panda II?
A: This is another stumbling block of mine, until I reasoned it out and slapped myself for not catching it earlier. It was one of those "let's dive recklessly in, thrash around, and in the process get some blinders on thinking things through".

The serial-to-usb has a RX and TX pins, right? The connection shield has a Di1 C1TX and a Di0 C1RX. I my mind I blithely plugged in the Rx to RX and TX to TX. No! This is bad. If I would have read the damned line in the PDF for the FEZ_Internet_of_Things_Book.pdf I would have saved myself some headaches.

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First, connect 2 cables from the eblock to FEZ Connect COM1 sockets, C1TX socket is COM1 TX pin for example. Note that TX pin from the eblock goes to RX pin on FEZ Connect and RX pin on eblock goes to TX pin on FEZ Connect.


The reason for this is the transmission of data should go from one to the receiving end of the other, right? T -> R. It wouldn't be prudent to have T -> T. That would be like having cars going both directions on a one lane road - collisions will happen.


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Work flow:
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Q4: What's this "virtual com port" I keep hearing about?
A: The virtual com port is how your machine will send the data to the Fez. To install it plug your USB into your serial-to-usb block and also into your machine - windows should do the rest.

My serial/usb port:

I will be using the COM8 port for the console portion of the communication.
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The properties from the system's device manager:
(start->control panel-> system->device manager)

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The test code that works for 4.1 microframework.

Spoiler



Sites for extra reading:
http://wiki.tinyclr....itle=USB_Client
http://www.tinyclr.c...share/entry/335
FEZ_Panda_II_UserManual.pdf
FEZ_Internet_of_Things_Book.pdf

Now that annoyance is out of the way I need to spend some time writing communication drivers for both the Fez and my PC as a base for my project ideas!
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