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Inspired by VIA`s Nano-ITX I started to develop a universal remote development system for robotics users; at this time I have the hardware interfacing COM object completed and I am vary close to releasing the first look at the development tools; IDE, runtime engine and miscellaneous hardware engines. The first version of the IDE / Runtime will support Pascal; subsequent releases will include Basic and C++; also if there is enough interest I will develop a Lisp version.

The DeviceIOControl object is now available for download from my site; you can get a jump start on your next PC based robot project by writing the hardware interfacing portion now! You can find the files here: http://www.roboshack.com

Tim Brown,

If your reading this post, please send me an email (jwoods@roboshack.com), I would like to talk with you regarding the VIA products.

I just finished reading Timsters Post regarding VIA; I've been following what VIA is doing very closely, with their mini-ITX footprint; with a nifty DC-DC power supply you can run their motherboards from 12V. I've created a simple test platform based on one of the mini-itx machines; the ``controller'' is currently utilizing the USB port. This is all well and good, however it would be much better if the motherboard had a CAN port on board and maybe a slightly smaller foot print.

The search for free web space continues! You would think with all the advertising sponsored sites out there you could find a decent free web provider with service that would actually work most of the time.

I think I found one that might do the job, if you get a chance, sign up for an account with www.100free.com. Their free service appears to work pretty good, lets hope they stick around for a while.

This weekend is the Grid Navigation contest at the Robot Society of Southern California held at Cal. State Fullerton, www.rssc.org: if your in the area, come on by, starts at around 12am.

RSSC Talent show and line fetch contest in October:

The Robot Society of Southern California is hosting a Robot talent show/contest, along with a line fetch contest on October 12th at Cal State Fullerton, if you are in the area, you should try to make it to this event. For more information go to www.rssc.org.

Bring your favorite robot and show it off................................

23 Jun 2002 (updated 23 Jun 2002 at 22:39 UTC) »

Ira, cool micro mouse!

If your doing experiments with compasses, take a look at the Philips part KMZ51, it is much smaller than the Densmore part, you can make a compass using 2 of them set at 90 degrees, it will require 2 A/D channels from your micro controller, and 2 digital out puts. I know the KMZ51 is a bit harder to get your hands on than the Densmore part, however, they are much much much smaller. Great for mirco bots.

Also, your proximiter sensor looks kinda big, take a look at the QRD1114, they are small enough to use a bunch of them on your micro bot, they can also be configured to perform line following. You can find them at www.digikey.com, part #QRD1114-ND. Let me know if you are interested in knowing how to configure these for line following.

This message is for Michale Keesling, I have been pondering the concept of a 3 legged robot since I saw the Destroyers in Star Wars, however, I am unable to conceptualize the gait required to make a 3 legged robot stable, have you solved this problem? Any ways, I was also unable to find your email address on your web site, could you send me and email so that we can talk about this? My email address is jwoods@roboshack.com.

Thanks for your time.

My goodness,

I received my long awaited parts to day. I'm sure every one is familiar with that scene from Ace Venture pet detective, where dude drop kicks, scrapes and smashes that package all the way to the dog napper's house. The box my parts came in looked like it was that very same box used in the movie. Not to mention it had been opened and re- sealed. Kinda makes me wonder what UPS is up to these days, are they using robot part sniffing gorillas?

Last week, I finally broke down and purchased the development tools for the Cyngal line of micro controllers. They are based on an 8051 core. I was pleasantly surprised. As it turned out, it is by far one of the best development environments I have seen in a micro controller. This processor sports bookoo I/O and 25 mips to boot. In July of this year they are releasing a 100 mips version! Can't wait :)_ It's a 3V part, which is well suited to battery-powered applications. The first thing I made using this new processor was a 32-channel servo controller, it was plenty fast enough to get full 8-bit resolution on all 32 servos!

If you're in the market for something with a bit more power and flexibility than a PIC, you can get all the information and order the parts as well from www.cygnal.com

I've been terribly sick these past few days, with one of the worst flu's I've had in years, last night in a feverous Nyquil induced comma I had an out of body experience, I traveled to a far away place high up on a mountain, where the secrets of the universe where passed on to me. The most important of which went something like this. ``All things dealing with humans eventually lead to something going in or out of an orifice''. Upon awakening, I realized that I may have suffered irreversible brain damage brought about by high fever and over indulgence of that store bought legalized hallucinogenic drug called Nyquil....................

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