The DIO (Digital IO) brick for my brick-o-lage project is already finished. I designed schematic and PCB using fritzing . Also I ordered the PCBs from fritzing FAB (and they turned out great). For the firmware I used my own libemb as a basis.

DIO Brick Specifications

  • Uses a MSP430G2553 from TI
  • Runs custom firmware
  • Connects to master brick through I2C
  • 4 digital outputs
  • 4 digital inputs
  • 2 status LEDs
  • Serial RX/TX for debugging

DIO Brick Schematic / PCB

The full files could found here.

DIO Brick Schematic

DIO Brick Schematic

DIO Brick PCB top

DIO Brick PCB top

DIO Brick PCB bottom

DIO Brick PCB bottom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DIO Brick PCB

DIO Brick PCB
DIO Brick PCB with MSP430

DIO Brick PCB with MSP430

 DIO Brick Case

Find the OpenSCAD and STL sources here.

DIO Case Closed

DIO Case Closed

DIO Case Exploded

DIO Case Exploded

DIO Brick with Case

DIO Brick with Case

wpid-dsc_0513.jpg

DIO Brick with Case

DIO Brick with Case

DIO Brick with Case

DIO Brick with Case

DIO Brick Firmware

The whole firmware sources are located here.

Bric(k)-o-lage – smart bricks the “bricolage” way

A while ago, I started a new project trying to create different “smart” bricks which will interconnect with some other well known brick systems (e.g. Lego). By “smart” bricks, bricks are meant which are able to perform a certain functionality like driving LEDs, detecting button presses, control DC motors or servos, read sensors and so on. This “smart” bricks (or “slave” bricks) are then connected to a “master” brick which allows to organize the functionality of the “smart” bricks into a more complex system.

This project aims to provide the plans for the hardware (like schematics, PCBs and STL for 3D printing Lego compatible cases), as well as the firmware for both, the “slave” bricks and the “master” brick. The project will be called “brick-o-lage” which is a modification of the French word bricolage (which I think is also known in english and stands for tinkering).

Currently the following bricks are planned

Master Brick

Slave Bricks

DIO Brick (Digitial IO)

  • Uses a MSP430G2553 from TI
  • Runs custom firmware
  • Connects to master brick through I2C
  • 4 digital outputs
  • 4 digital inputs
  • 2 status LEDs
  • Serial RX/TX for debugging

DCM Brick (DC Motor Control)

  • Uses a MSP430G2553 from TI
  • Runs custom firmware
  • Connects to master brick through I2C
  • Control 2 DC motors (direction, speed)

SER Brick (Servo Control)

  • Uses a MSP430G2553 from TI
  • Runs custom firmware
  • Connects to master brick through I2C
  • Control 2 servos

SEN Brick (Sensor Control)

  • Uses a MSP430G2553 from TI
  • Runs custom firmware
  • Connects to master brick through I2C
  • Query verious sensors like ultra-sonic, IR, …

A Tin Can Robot – Roundup

I put together a project roundup for the tin can R2D2:

A Tin Can Robot – Basic Schematic

Documentation day today :-). I got also around drawing a basic schematic (using Fritzing) for the tin can robots electronics.

Some notes on the schematic:

  • I don’t use the Propeller “directly” but use the Propeller QuickStart board. The schematic below is soldered on perf-board and then attached as a shield to the QuickStart.
  • Fritzing offered a XBee schematic which I used for the BTBee. This is OK since they are PIN compatible.
  • If you connect the speaker like in the schematic, you will get noisy ugly sound.
  • If you don’t use blue LEDs which are OK with 3.3V, you will need resistors too.
Tin Can R2D2 Schematic

Tin Can R2D2 Schematic

A Tin Can Robot – Android App to Control

Finally I got around hacking a basic Android App to control my tin can robots. To quickly get a result, I used Processings Android mode and the Ketai library for the Bluetooth stuff. Regarding the effort needed for the results, they turned out pretty well.

The App has the following features so far:

  • Device Discovery
  • Device Selection
  • Control Panel which could be switched between right- and left-hand mode
  • Adapt to devices screen size

As usual, the sources could be found on
the projects github account
.

Discovering Devices

Discovering Devices

Select Device

Select Device

Left Hand Control

Left Hand Control

Right Hand Control

Right Hand Control

A Tin Can Robot – Short Video

Ok, the hardware for both robots (black R2D2 and pink R2KT) is done. Also a first version of the software is loaded on the Parallax Propeller inside the two bots. In the video below you could see them driving (remote controlled from smartphone/tablet).

A Tin Can Robot – R2KT on it’s Way

Tin Can Robots

Tin Can Robots

Skeleton of  tin can R2KT

Skeleton of tin can R2KT

Main components of a tin can robot

Main components of a tin can robot

A Tin Can Robot – Driving

The tin can based R2D2 robot driving around, remote controlled through tablet using Bluetooth:

The sound in the video is pretty poor. But what you here so far is a typical R2D2 beep-beep on start-up (or when you request it by remote command), an other beep when a new command was received, some sad “ohhhh” noise when you stop the robot. Also to keep the robot happy you need to drive it (the LEDs then smile). If you break, a sad LED face is shown …

And by the way: the little speaker will soon also get it’s housing.

Window-Thing

Today I think I 3D printed my first real useful thing. This “thing” sits on the bottom border of our windows and helps keeping them pack (against cold air). Unfortunately I don’t know the name of this thing, so I decided to call it the “window thing”. One of our windows was missing the “window thing”, so I decided to rip off one from an other window an copy it with a caliper and OpenScad. It worked pretty well so far (I need to print an other one in white, but pink fillament was already loaded, and I was to lazy for change) …

Copy (pink) and original (white)

Copy (pink) and original (white)

Copy (pink) and original (white)

Copy (pink) and original (white)

This is where "window thing" goes to

This is where “window thing” goes to

"Window thing" attached to window

“Window thing” attached to window

With windows closed ...

With windows closed …

A Tin Can Robot – Final Assembly

All parts are printed! Now everything is ready for a first assembly.

Can and 3D printed parts

Can and 3D printed parts

But first the electronic components need some wiring:

Wiring everything up

Wiring everything up

The full BOM for the electronics looks like so:

So lets assemble all the abovce stuff like shown in the next figure:

Tin Can R2D exploded view

Tin Can R2D exploded view

We get as a result a tin can on wheels:

wpid-DSC_0386.jpg wpid-DSC_0385.jpg

Which looks  very very close like the initial model:

wpid-DSC_0384.jpgTin Can R2D2 in black

Tin Can R2D2 in black