Simple Bluetooth Joystick

In this post I will introduce a couple of Arduino scripts and the accompanying circuitry needed to make a very simple Bluetooth joystick. The first script simply provides you with all the basic code needed to read from a simple PS2 style joystick. This script is then expanded to include the capability for joystick calibration. Calculated calibration values are saved to the micro-controllers EEPROM so that they can be automatically retrieved next time the hardware is connected. ...more

Arduino and the Sharp IR Proximity Sensor

In my last post I demonstrated how I modified a couple of Sharp IR sensors for use with my ServoBot Shield. It recently dawned on me however, that some of you might not know what these sensors are for, and how they are used. With that in mind I decided to put together this quick post as a bit of an introduction etc. Introducing the Sharp IR Sensor The Sharp IR family of proximity sensors are probably the most commonly used sensors by robot hobbyists. This is because they are inexpensive and are ideally suited to small robots. ...more

Sharp IR Servo Plug Tip

This post is really a tip rather than a tutorial. Within it I will demonstrate how I prepare sensors and components such as Sharp IR's to be compatible with the ServoBot Shield. Essentially all that's really going on here is the fitting of servo plugs so that whatever component can easily be plugged into the shield, and then removed again if necessary. I think that this is a really useful way of being able to connect sensors so that they can be changed  as I see fit whilst also ensuring that the connections are secure. ...more

Ratchet & Clank – Power Harness

Today my attention turned towards a means of providing power for my servo based 3D printed robots, Ratchet & Clank. In order to achieve this I first off defined a list of requirements that any potential solution must fulfil: Separate power sources for both the servos and Arduino. Can be turned on via a single switch. Can power at least six servos. Luckily the circuit turned out to be dead easy. All I needed to do was tie together both of the ground wires coming from the battery and then wire them to the switch. The switch then provides the ground source for to two male servo plugs. Each plug is also connected to one of each of the positive lines. ...more

Building a Calibrated Tilt Compensated Compass with the LSM303

The LSM303 Breakout is a nice little compass module that consists of a triple axis accelerometer and a triple axis magnetometer. When used together this combination of sensors allows the LSM303 to perform 6D orientation detection and provide all the data needed to calculate a tilt-compensated heading. This post introduces an Arduino sketch that allows both calibration of the LSM303 and the saving of calibration data to the arduino's EEPROM. This data can then be recalled to configure the LSM303 for use at a later date. ...more

The 3DR Power Distribution Board & Assembly

A  Power Distribution Board (PDB) is a simple circuit board who's function is to distribute the power from a battery to the four Electronic Speed Controllers (ESC's) that are used to power each of a quadcopter's motors. For my quad build Penny, I opted for a PDB made by 3DR. My rationale for this decision is that unlike other PDB's the 3DR board design includes connection heads for each of the ESC's servo headers ultimately resulting in a single plug connection that can be used to connect the ESC's to the main control board (in my case an Ardupilot Mega 2.5) and also one which can be used to power it too. ...more

Simple Serial String Parsing

One of the initial requirements I came across whilst developing with the Arduino platform, as with the Netduino platform, was the need for effective 2 way serial communication between both the Arduino(s) and my desktop. Luckily, the Arduino software provides several examples that can get you up and running with serial communication in no time. ...more

Netduino Flex Sensor Example

Here we have another Netduino Sensor example. This time I am going to show you how to wire up a Spectra Symbol flex sensor as retailed by Sparkfun Electronics. About The Sensor As the sensor is flexed, the resistance across the sensor increases. Patented technology by Spectra Symbol - they claim these sensors were used in the original Nintendo Power Glove. The resistance of the flex sensor changes when the metal pads are on the outside of the bend (text on inside of bend). For more information on the Flex Sensor used, check out the following data sheet. ...more