Gimbal System for UAV’s

There have been wide variety of gimbal used on UAV’s to capture stable video or still images. A directly mounted camera is never an option for A UAV due to vibrations as well as it reduces user control on the camera direction. The control board for the Gimbal comprises of an onboard 6-Axis IMU, a GPS module headers, connection for servo and an Atmega128 micro-controller. The GPS unit on-board the UAV will provide the Stabilized Gimbal Controller the ability to sense its absolute position on earth. This will help the gimbal to point at the required position all the time, irrespective of UAV heading. An Atmega128 micro-controller is used for the project since it has more number of timers, PWM output lines, and serial communication interface than any other comparable controller. An additional motion processing unit is also used which needs to be stored on the Atmega128 and is controlled via I2C protocol. The above project is basically a side project for the entire UAV which students from Cornell University used to compete in the Student Unmanned Air Systems (SUAS)… Continue reading

Atmega128 that speaks

Sometimes in microcontroller projects we would like to have sound output. This is handy when you can’t look at screen, but still need to get status messages or other info. For such tasks you can use voice synthesizer chips that are able to read text with one of robotic voices. But if your needs aren’t that high, you can go with simple wave player. Skinny Satan have shared his experiments with speech synthesis using Atmega128 microcontroller. He doesn’t do any fancy algorithms here, but rather plays low quality wave chunks to make a message. He converts sound files in to 8-bit and 8kHz data blocks that can be stored inside MCU. Then he uses PWM output along with RC low pass filter to get voice on speaker. There can be several words stored in array where algorithm can select which ones to combine to get a sentence. You are only limited by MCU flash memory which in fact is pretty OK for simple applications. Continue reading

Toast your bread via WEB interface

Looking for more microcontroller ideas? Well take a look at super toaster project. This isn’t very practical usage of microcontroller and web interface but who knows it may be a part of future fully automated and web controlled toaster J Anyway this sounds fun – open browser and load toaster web page where you can select toast level and press the button. In a minute you get your toast nice and shiny. OK, web based toaster has more useful features than making impossible toasting for your mom. It could log events from kitchen with proper sensors. Instead of toasting you could log from anywhere and check if you left the stove on. The whole fun is based on WIZ200WEB module that comes with WIZnet Ethernet module and ATmega128 microcontroller. It gives enough power and pins to do much more fun in your kitchen than toasting only. You can also download a nice presentation of entire project here. Continue reading

It’s Time to Have a Chess Game With Robochess!

Many chess players, especially those advanced level chess players are very hard to find those competitors that have same level skill. Hence, many of them are overjoyed, if they’ve found someone that have the equivalent chess playing skill with them! Well, if you’re one of the talented chess players and having some difficulty to search for the opponents, then you should consider to build an artificial intelligent Chess playing robot, which is known as “Robochess”. By the way, don’t think that the chess playing robot is one of the late 20th century inventions, as there’s a chess playing machine called “The Turk” has been constructed in the late of 18th century! Wolfgang von Kempelen (1734-1804), the proud inventor of The Turk has built the automation chess player to impress the Empress Maria Theresa. Guys, this is how the Robochess works: First of all, it recognizes the opponent’s movements. Then, it analyzes the next move. After it, it automatically picks up one of the pieces and moves them. Lastly, the result will be displaying in LCD. This Robochess is built based… Continue reading

The Portable Color TFT LCD Controller Will Spice Up Your Life!

You’ve searched all over the places to find the genuine color TFT LCD controller? Honestly, you’re mostly getting nothing from the searching, as most of the affordable and small color LCDs are being controlled by particular chips, where these chips didn’t available to the public at all! Yeah, you must be very frustrated when you found out the truth, isn’t it? Well, there’s always some good solutions for any problem. Since the stuff you’re looking around doesn’t available on the market, then it’s time to build your very own color TFT LCD controller. For your information, the color TFT LCD controller that you’re going to build here is different from the ordinary, where it uses two AVR microcontrollers to generate the signals needed to control a color TFT LCD. For the display, a 160×240 dot Sony ACX705AKM will be the perfect choice. By the way, an ATMega8515 microcontroller is being used in this project, due to its efficiency in collecting the color pixel data from static RAM and controls the LCD by generating digital CRT video signals! Beside that, an… Continue reading

Great tutorial about running dumb MCU based terminal from Linux

HackAday have posted a nice tutorial on how to run dumb terminal built from Atmega128. With simple hardware you can have handy tool that can help to rescue a headless server or simply use as minicomputer with keyboard and LCD screen. Device can work with windows and Linux. But with Linux you can see the real power of usage. Curious? – Just connect device and start Linux booting on PC – you will seethe whole booting process where you will have to interact by “Pressing any key and event entering Login information. Continue reading