Raspberry Pi 2 for Robotics

I just got a Raspberry Pi 2 in my hands and hope with its help to add some cool features to my new robot projects, beyond the capabilities of the trusted Arduino. The specific goal, besides just tinkering around with something new, is to get basic computer vision working, using OpenCV and a webcam, or the Raspberry Pi Camera… Read More »

Bipolar stepper motor control with Arduino and an H-Bridge

It is a well known fact that Stepper motors are awesome! The only downside is that they can be a bit trickier to get going than servos and plain old DC motors. If you are interested in the inner mechanics and theory of stepper motors, check this excellent post on PCB heaven. If you happen to have one… Read More »

Stepper motor wiring tutorial

Occasionally you may come across an old stepper motor salvaged from a printer, or an ancient floppy drive. If you are lucky, there will be a part number on the motor and after some digging around, you will come up with a datasheet. Often though, you will have a motor with no markings whatsoever and… Read More »

Replacing a damaged Arduino Uno voltage regulator

While testing a new circuit on a breadboard, my good old Arduino Uno suddenly released its “magic smoke” with a loud pop and stopped working. On a closer inspection, I saw that a small crater had appeared on the 5 volt voltage regulator. The next step was to figure out just how bad things were.… Read More »

Arduino Joystick Module Example

In one of my rather frequent eBay visits, I came across a nifty little joystick module, much similar to the analog thumb-stick on the PlayStation 2 controllers. The module is very easy to use with an Arduino uno and only costs a few dollars. Several different versions are available from eBay, Adafruit, Sparkfun and other… Read More »

Daisy – an Arduino autonomous obstacle avoidance robot

Daisy is an old “Discovery Kids” projection alarm clock turned into an autonomous obstacle avoiding bot. The brain is an Arduino Mini. Two small servos, modified for continuous rotation, are used for a differential drive and a combination of 3 infrared sensors (under the “skirt”) and 1 HC-SR04 ultrasonic sensor (the “eyes”) detect obstacles. I… Read More »

555 Timer Monostable Multivibrator Circuit

This  is a side project from my endeavor to program an Arduino Uno wirelessly (over Bluetooth) using a cheap HC06 JY-MCU Blueetooth Module I got from eBay. In order to kick off the Arduino bootloader and upload a new sketch, you need to reset the Arduino at the right moment, and hold the reset pin “LOW”… Read More »

Crazy Watch – Exploring electronics fundamentals

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” ― Ernest Hemingway A few days ago my son came back from school with something that he had build in a Tech-Ed class. You had to carry a copper ring across a maze made of… Read More »