Programming ATtiny ICs with Arduino Uno and the Arduino IDE 1.6.4 or above

In previous posts I covered the steps on programming ATtiny85 and ATtiny84 chips using an Arduino Uno as programmer and the Arduino IDE Software with two different  "libraries".  At that time the process of adding new boards to the Arduino IDE was fairly complicated and manual. As of version 1.6.4 of the Arduino IDE, the "Boards Manager" has been added, which makes adding third party boards (like the ATtiny) much easier. The awesome guys at the MIT Labs High-Low tech group have created the required file for the ATtiny ICS (ATtiny85, 45, 84 and 44) and provided installation instructions on…continue reading →

How to program ATTiny85 with Arduino Uno (part 2)

This is the second part of the tutorial on how to program an AVR ATTiny85 chip with Arduino Uno. All the hard work has already been covered in Part 1, so make sure that you have completed the steps in that section before you continue!By default, the ATtiny85 runs at 1 MHz. You need to do an extra step to configure the microcontroller to run at 8 MHz. This is a requirement for using some popular libraries (like Software Serial), as well as to take full advantage of your chip. (more…)

How to program ATTiny85 with Arduino Uno (part 1)

UPDATE, November, 2015: The article below was written for Arduino IDE versions, prior to 1.6.4. If you are currently using Arduino IDE 1.6.4, or later, follow the instructions in blog post instead.
This tutorial is based on the steps I took to program an ATTiny85 with my Arduino Uno and use the nifty little chip for a small line following robot. The idea for using the ATTiny came from the MAKE magazine and more specifically their "How-To: Shrinkify Your Arduino Projects" YouTube video.The ATTiny libraries for the Arduino IDE come from the High-Low Tech group at the MIT Media Lab. They have some other interesting materials for Arduino on their site as well.

Step 1: Collect all necessary hardware components

  • An Arduino Uno (or compatible board)
  • An ATTiny85 IC
  • One 10 uF capacitor
  • Breadboard and jumper wires

ATTiny Line Follower to mess around with the ATTiny85 IC... I ported the code from my Arduino Uno line following robot to the ATTiny. Some changes were necessary to make it work:
  • The ATTiny has only 3 analog pins, so the sensor array has 3 TCRT5000 IR LED/Sensors instead of the 6 the original line follower had
  • The SoftwareServo library was needed, as the standard servo library that comes with the Arduino IDE does not work on the ATTiny
The code used is below, and more info on how to program the ATTiny chip using your Arduino as a programmer is available in this post. There is one more pin available on the ATTiny85, so I am thinking of adding an ultrasound sensor and some basic obstacle avoidance next. Here is the Arduino Code that runs on the ATTiny: (more…)

ATTiny85 Mini Robot vs. Black Box

A few days ago we got several ATTiny85 ICs (datasheet) and this is a first video of the small chip in action. out the kinks of programming this little guy with an Arduino Uno and getting Arduino libraries to work with it takes a bit of effort and digging around the forums. Still, as a small, light and cheap (can be found for $1.15 online) alternative of an Arduino Uno - it looks very promising! Here is a detailed tutorial on how to program the ATTiny using an Arduino Uno.(more…)