Archive for “June, 2013”

SensorCape Hardware Design Completed

I am happy to announce that the hardware design for the SensorCape Rev 0.2 has been completed. This is my first PCB to take to production so I am excited to see if it works. After I put the finishing touches on the silkscreen design I will be sending it to OSH Park for fabrication and will begin testing as soon as I can get it assembled. Next steps for this project are to begin writing the software library and to begin promoting the SensorCape. To keep up to date with the SensorCape project, visit the project page where I will soon be adding design details.

Update 1 (7/3/2013):

I just sent the design to OSH park for fabrication, it is expected to return to me by July 20th.

Update 2 (7/9/2013):

I just placed orders with Mouser and Digi-Key for enough parts to assemble about 2.5 SensorCapes. Total cost came out to be a little bit over $100.

Understanding and Using I2C

Note: This post originated from Robot Electronics, I have reposted it here with several edits for clarity and as a personal reference. As I continue to refine this document and it no longer closely resembles the original I will remove this note and replace it with a reference link at the bottom of this post. If anyone at Robot Electronics takes issue with this then please contact me and I will be happy to remove the article.

I2C is clearly very confusing for the newcomer. I know that I personally avoided I2C devices for my first few projects but now that I have learned the ins-and-outs of I2C I thought I would share these lessons with everyone. This page attempts to de-mystify the I2C bus, lets hope I can do that!
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SensorCape Reference Manual

This is the official SensorCape reference manual and it is still a work in progress. The purpose of this manual is to allow the technically proficient user to easily understand the inner workings of the SensorCape ecosystem while still allowing the average user to learn what they need to use the SensorCape as they wish.

The SensorCape reference manual allows easy navigation to the desired part or system of the SensorCape by starting with a short overview of the SensorCape, what capabilities it adds and which components provide this capability. To learn in-depth details about a component reference I have provided the manufacturer’s product datasheet for each component. In order to provide a centralized source, the this document discusses the most relevant information for each component in the sections following the overview. Continue Reading…

SensorCape Introduction – A New BeagleBone Black Cape

I would like to introduce a new add-on cape for the BeagleBone Black, though it should work just as well with the original BeagleBone. The idea for the SensorCape came out of the Texas Instruments Intern Design Competition (2013). I wanted to design an add-on that was as versatile and capable as the BeagleBone itself. Accomplishing this meant adding general functionality that was not included with the BeagleBone, but that would be useful in a wide variety of contexts. The simplest way to add functionality is to increase the possibilities for interacting with the BeagleBone. For me, this meant adding various sensors to enable the BeagleBone to know more about the world around it.

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The Dark Knight Phones His Way Home

Maybe that echolocation room-mapping software that Christopher Nolan showed off in the Dark Knight isn’t so far off after all. I’ll admit when I first saw it in the movie I was skeptical, then after thinking about it for a while I started wondering why we hadn’t already figured out how to do it!

Apparently the entire concept is pretty difficult, but a researcher in Switzerland (as well as some other engineers) has made some progress in the area of echolocation algorithms. Instead of rehashing all of the same content I will just direct you to the article that caught my eye. Or you can read his original content right here.