Accelerometer based sport analyzer

Well this is quite big project that include several microcontrollers including Microchip 18F, Texas Instrument DSP, also an Xbee transceiver. As this is a semester project it has a very detailed description of device working and building process that include making PCBs, building case with engraving. Sport accelerometer itself is used in athletics to determine their wrong foot steps especially near finish. Transmitter with accelerometer simple reads accelerometer data and then transmits it to computer with DSP. So coach can see when athlete makes a mistake (he even gets a sound signal when he does that) and can make corrections for the next time. Anyway if you aren’t interested in sport accelerometer itself, I encourage at least reading the PCB building process as it includes an oven soldering and other… Continue reading

Palm sized Blackfin robot explorer

Many hobbyist have a secret wish to build a small robot with fancy features like camera, various sensors, and remote control. Remote robots with camera can be real fun and a big help in dangerous situations. So here it is a small palm size 500 MHz Blackfin BF537 robot that is equipped with wi-fi interface that allows controlling robot remotely by sitting by computer. Java based software (SRV-1) runs a small web server application that allows to connect to robot from anywhere in the world. Great thing is that Robot firmware is developed by using GPL open source tool chains, so no problem to update or expand as there is a full access to source code (GPL) and schematics. So charge it and here’s a 4 hour of continuous fun. Continue reading

Surveyor robot with DSP on board

This is really huge project that is impossible to review in few sentences. Surveyor or so called SVR-1 robot is designed by Surveyor Corporation. Robot platform is equipped with wireless and video modules. It can operate autonomously or operated remotely via wireless Internet connection and console. From embedded systems perspective interesting part is Blackfin BF537 DSP processor (1000 integer MIPS). Processor is used as main heart to control robot platform, run on-board interpreted C programs, capture images, compress and transmit them via WLAN. All these tasks of course wouldn’t be impossible without uClinux embedded OS. Probably the most exiting part of this project, that all development is based on OpenSource tools. uClinux is compiled with GNU tool-chain. Console is running by using Python software. Also all necessary schematics and firmware… Continue reading