Make:it Robotics Starter Kit – Binary Part 1

In our last blog post we captured some sensor data from the three different positions that our robot can encounter when following the black line, (left sensor black, left sensor/right sensor white, right sensor black). In this blog post we are going to take that sensor data and run it thorough our readOptical.py Python program and evaluate what is happening in our lineFollow.ino program. We are going to look at the following sections of code: if((sensor_in & 0xf00) == 0) sensorValue1 = sensor_in & 0xff; else if((sensor_in & 0xf00) >> 8 == 1) sensorValue2 = sensor_in & 0xff; if (sensorValue1…
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Make:it Robotics Starter Kit – Capture Sensor Data

Last blog entry we discussed a bit about what the linefollow.ino program is doing. I presented a Python script that will allow us to analyze the bitwise if statements to see how the value that the read_Optical() method returns gets converted to the values of 0, 1, 2 or 3. Now we are going to put all of this together and see what is really happening on the robot. Sometimes when looking over a program that someone else developed, it is sort of hard to visualize what the program is doing. So one of the things I like to do…
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Make:it Robotics Starter Kit Software – Bitwise Logic

This blog post is a continuation on my tinkering with the Make:it Robotics Kit. Hopefully I can pass on some of the information that I have learned so it will make it easier for others to get up to speed on working with the Robotics Kit. After building the line following robot, the manual had a link to download the software for the robot. I tried to navigate to the link and it was not available: http://shack.net/MakeitRobotics. This is a common problem when manufactures are writing documents, links seem to change and revisions often miss each other. Not a problem…
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Make:it Robotics Starter Kit

I finely got some spare time to start working on C/C++ embedded systems and robots. So in browsing around at Radio Shack I stumbled upon the Make:it Robotics Starter Kit. Apparently a joint collaboration between Radio Shack and the folks at Maker Media, Inc. The same people who bring you Make: Magazine. When I got home I quickly broke open the box and started looking over the contents. The kit comes with everything you need to build two robots with the exception of an Arduino Uno and 8 AA batteries. In Starter Kit you can build either a line following…
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Word Frequency Analysis program in C++

I wanted to do some more work with the STL in C++, so I decided to put together a program that uses several STL containers.  I also wanted this program to do some searching and sorting of the containers so I could get a change check the performance of different STL containers. I wrote a word and character frequency analysis program that takes two parameters, a text file that contains the text that will be parsed and analyzed and a log file that will contain the analysis. I first looked at using a STL map, as it seemed to be…
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Caesar Cipher written in C++

Just submitted my last assignment for my Data Structures and Algorithms C class.  I plan on taking some time off from school so I can write some code and apply all of this great information that I have learned in the last year of attending UCSD extension program. I finished the C/C++ certification program and decided to take one more class, which was the Data Structures and Algorithms class. Over the Thanksgiving holiday I decided to take a Caesar Cipher program I found out on the web, that I have played around with an convert it to C++.  I figure…
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Data Driven XPATH XML Parsing in C++

Since I have been taking a C++ certificate course at UCSD, I have really begun to enjoy writing  C++.  At work I have been setting up InstallAnywhere scripts to build a Java application and we needed to put together a Continuous Integration build process that will run on a CRM server. Out of the box, InstallAnywhere standard edition is pretty brain dead when it comes to automating build install executables.    The vendor wants you to spend twice the money and upgrade to the enterprise edition. So I decided to look into writing some custom code to automate the build…
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Busy, but I will start posting soon

Sorry, I have been tied up since last September taking classes at UCSD Extension so I can earn a Certificate in C/C++.  Too busy to work on any projects. I did change jobs recently.  I am currently doing some consulting at Qualcomm here in San Diego working on developing some GUI automation on an application that tests ARM chip debug sub-systems.  I am making an all out effort to get up to speed on embedded systems.  With all of the connected devices, mobile devices,  and ARM processors invading our universe it is just a matter of time before all of the…
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Tutorial – Bit Banging and Boolean Math without the Math

Overview When I am bit banging or programming microcontrollers, sometimes I really want to focus on what the bit patterns look like, really visualize what the zeros and ones are doing. But having to do the math in many cases distracts my attention from the task at hand. Using a calculator is slow and cumbersome, and also distracts me from the binary operations. We humans work and think in decimal. Bit patterns are in binary. To make the conversion a bit easier we convert to hexadecimal. Having to do this conversion, either mentally, using paper and pen or calculator, at…
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Chicken Light Relay Timer

Chicken Light Timer The wife is into raising chickens and now that the daylight savings is getting near she wanted a way to keep the egg laying production in high gear.  According to the material that she reads, chickens will maintain their egg laying production if they get 12 – 15 hours of daylight. I thought to myself, what a great opportunity for me to put together a DIY electronics project that would also be green.  I wanted a quick and inexpensive solution so I decided to go with the Arduino as the MCU and build everything from scratch. This…
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