With the Wearable-Tech conference finally at bay I feel as though some weight has been lifted and I can begin working – or continue to work – on other projects that I have been scrambling around in my head. PIDDYBOT, for one, is long overdue for an update and I now know the direction it will be going in. I’m hoping to clean up the design and make it more affordable. There are a few robots that I will be adding to the educational line up that will hopefully make their way out of the framework soon. I am in the process of developing the design of a new human interface device, which is in the form of a ring and uses some amazing technology. On top of that a new Raspberry Pi has been released today, and I am going to be picking one up ASAP.
Lets start out with some changes. For a while now I have been using the Atmega328P in pretty much all of my projects that are big enough to house it. Its cheap, versatile, and familiar but It does have one downside. The Atmega328 lacks having a built USB connection, which can make for bulky designs or relying on an off-board FTDI chip to program them. This is not a problem for my projects that I use for myself. I could see it being more of an issue for the projects that are given to others to reprogram or modify to their own liking. I have decided to start using the Atmega32U4 in my projects and to start I picked up a Arduino Leonardo from Newark/Element 14. I have so many UNOs around but it is time to upgrade.
PIDDYBOT-BT is going to be getting a component upgrade and will no longer use the pre-made daughter boards like those made by SparkFun. The Sparkfun boards are great for prototyping purposes, but in order to cut costs I am going to be putting all of the components right on the PIDDYBOT circuit board. It will be slightly more difficult to assemble yourself, but I will also be offering the board populated for sale as a kit or individually. Alongside PIDDYBOT is going to be what I am calling the NeuroBot – name may change. Its going to be a simplistic bug type bot that will react to its environment. It will have different types of sensors and you will be able to decide which sensors are active, and also decide how the bug will react based on different parameters. This again will be an open source kit that you will be able to build and program yourself.
The list of personal projects is rather large right now, and I may need to go through them and do some ordering by importance. Some are inventions, and others are just an idea I think would be fun to tackle. Either way I’m going to be busy for the next while. It has also been long overdue that I get myself a Raspberry Pi(yeah I know, took me forever!), and what better of days than the day they release a new version! The only problem is once I start using one for a project I’m going to end up needing a lot more. Thats what happened when I first got into Arduinos and now they are everywhere in my room.
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