Posts Tagged ‘openelectrons.com’

OpenElectrons.com has made an NXT replacement of sorts. Leveraging the power of the Arduino platform, this shield allows the popular prototyping tool to interface with 8 RC servo motors and NXT motors and sensors. The shield has some integrated buttons and operates over I2C. The library for the shield contains both hardware and software I2C implementations, allowing for full support of Mindsensors products at faster speeds.

The video below shows a simple program I wrote. Using the Mindsensors LineLeader and SumoEyes. The robot is constructed out of LEGO parts and uses LEGO MINDSTORMS motors and sensors. There are axle holes to mount the shield and the NXShield is small enough to use with other Arduino shields (think xBee shield or midi shield). Watch the video for more details, but this robot doesn’t even come close to using the full power of the Arduino platform. I have a few more projects in mind with the platform. In addition, I recently ported the library to the Maple. I am still doing some final testing, but if you would like to give it a try, post a comment below!

 

Dare I say a late Christmas in July? Today the mailman brought me two new toys that I have been looking forward to getting my hands on.The gentlemen over at Mindsensors.com and OpenElectrons.com sent me a rather nice gift. First up is the Teemino. As you may know, I recently got a DRIOD cell phone. I have been wanting to play with the ADK for a while now, but never had any hardware. The Teemino is an ADK board made by OpenElectrons.com.  I have a few projects in mind for this board, but I want to start simple (just blinking a light). Check back for more updates with this board.

The next item probably deserves a whole post in itself. The NXShield is an Arduino shield that replicates (most) of the NXT. The shield has not 3, but 4 motor ports and 4 sensor ports. It fits the Arduino Uno or similar form factor. (It actually wont fit the Arduino Mega or Teemino due to a power jack on the board.) The motors and sensors are controlled via I2C. Furthermore, since it is Arduino, you could stack in an xBee shield (or other custom shield) and make a modular robot. Maybe make a NXT to NXShield communication using a Dexter Industries NXTBee? Or we could even mix in that GPS Bee I posted about. With the Arduino platform, the possibilities are endless!

Now just adding a motor port is awesome, but the NXShield has 6 servo motor headers. This means it can really drive just about anything. It would seem the Arduino is now the limiting factor in the system, but what did I say about fitting Arduino form devices??? Well the NXShield does in fact work with Maple (and a few other Arduino boards). Currently the libraries are only for the Arduino, but I plan to do some porting to make it all work together. I will be sure to post my library on the files page as well as some code examples.

Speaking of porting, there is another platform this could work with. By now you have to be wondering when I am going to mention National Instruments or LEGO. Well fear not! National Instruments released a LabVIEW for Arduino toolkit. It has support for I2C (as well as GPIO and SPI). See where I am going yet? You could actually use the NXShield with an Arduino running LabVIEW. Expect some VIs and code examples to get you started there as well.

So WOW! What a day and what an opportunity! I cant wait to get started!