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As smartphones and tablets become more popular and more advanced, they drive the rapid development of progressively better and cheaper inertial sensors, and we’ve come to expect a new 3D compass/accelerometer chip from ST every year or so. We’re catching up again with their latest technology (for the time being) with the release of our LSM303D 3D compass and accelerometer carrier.
The LSM303D offers a number of improvements over its predecessors, including a wider maximum magnetic sensing range (up to ±12 gauss). It also features a more unified I²C interface and adds support for SPI communication. Our carrier board includes a 3.3 V voltage regulator and level shifters that make it easy to use with 5 V systems. For more information, see the product page.
Forum user Jim Remington has been working on getting the Talkie speech synthesis library to run on an Orangutan robot controller. The Talkie library, written by Peter Knight for the Arduino, has its roots in a Texas Instruments speech synthesis system that dates from the 1970s and was used in the Speak & Spell educational toy.
When we read about what Jim was doing on the Pololu Forum, we wanted to try it ourselves. We modified Jim’s Orangutan LV-168 code to work on the Orangutan SV-328, and we discovered that the Orangutan’s motor driver could be used as an improvised audio amplifier. This video demonstrates the result:
(Yes, those numbers are a little implausible, but they’re a good way to show off Jim’s number-to-speech routine.)
We’ve just released a new USB-to-serial adapter based on the Silicon Labs CP2104 USB-to-UART bridge. This tiny, inexpensive board makes it easy to connect a logic-level serial device to a PC, offering access to all of the data, control, and GPIO pins on the CP2104 while measuring only 0.6″ × 0.95″, including its Micro-USB connector. The adapter’s versatile pinout allows it to be used in a number of different ways, including on a breadboard or as a six-pin FTDI cable replacement.
And in case you don’t have a compatible cable lying around, we now also carry Micro-USB cables in two varieties: a standard cable that works with high-speed USB devices, and a thinner version that is lighter and more flexible but limited to low- and full-speed USB.
We’ve published a new sample project that shows you how to use the Wixel and its Joystick App to convert a non-USB joystick into a USB device. This guide walks you through the whole process: all you have to do is make the right wiring connections and configure the app on the Wixel; no programming is required.
Check out the project page to see how we converted a Tandy Deluxe Joystick and learn how to adapt your own input device with a Wixel!
Related post: Joystick App for Wixel now available
The Robot Quartet is an art installation by Andres Wanner that features four marker-equipped 3pi robots working together to create drawings. The robots receive identical commands and draw repetitive patterns on the same surface.
You can see more pictures of the completed artworks on Andres’s website.
Featured link: http://www.pixelstorm.ch/pro_robotquartet.php
Swap_File posted a write-up of this Tron-inspired costume on the Adafruit forums. A pair of Wixels — one in the disc and another in the jacket — helps to enable wireless control of the suit’s lights and displays.
The costume was featured in a Wearable Wednesday blog post on the Adafruit blog.
Featured link: http://www.forums.adafruit.com/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=41560
We have just released a joystick app for the Wixel that allows you to turn a Wixel connected to a computer into a USB joystick, with the Wixel’s analog and digital inputs representing joystick axes and buttons. The app and its documentation can be found in the Wixel User’s Guide, and its source code has been added to the Wixel SDK.
We’ll soon be publishing a sample project that shows you how to use a Wixel running this app to convert a retro joystick into a USB device, so stay tuned!
Update (12 September 2013): The Wixel USB Joystick sample project is now available.
Related post: Sample project: Wixel USB Joystick
Our universal mounting hubs are now available in versions with mounting holes sized for M3 screws (not included). These aluminum hubs allow you to mount custom wheels and mechanisms to 3 mm, 4 mm, 5 mm, and 6 mm shafts. Each set of two hubs includes the required set screws and an Allen wrench for securing the hubs to motor shafts.
We have released a new machined aluminum bracket that lets you securely mount our 37D mm metal gearmotors to your project. The bracket has six holes on its face that line up with the 37D gearbox’s mounting holes, and it has three tapped holes on the bottom. Nine M3 screws are included for securing the bracket to the motor and mounting surface.
Our new QTR-3A and QTR-3RC reflectance sensor arrays pack three IR emitter and receiver (phototransistor) pairs onto a board measuring just 1.25″ × 0.3″ (32 mm × 8 mm). With the sensors mounted on a 0.375″ pitch, these sensor arrays are great for sensing 3/4″ black electrical tape when used as minimal detectors on line-following robots!