Older blog entries for mikegotis (starting at number 12)

Latest log entry, developed designs creating four primary logic controller boards and five secondary function boards. These "green" PCBs are loaded with features, including mini-keyboards, keyboard encoder ICs or PCBs, plug-n-play gold connectors, LEDs, array terminal strips, serial LCDs, and solderless breadboards. The boards give the ability to integrate all the primary functions of a full scale computer, but on a much smaller scale in terms of physical dimensions. The greatest capapcity board has ports available for 6 expansion boards in addition to a large solderless breadboard work area. The smallest board version will fit in the palm of your hand, and includes LCD, micro-keyboard, plug port array, CPU, IC socket and driver, encoder ICs, and a solderless breadboard.

Notes: The Embedded Microcontrollers Array is a new project to create an array of specific microcontroller boards with embedded microprocessors for use in robotic devices and for development, design, and analysis. Additional incorporated designs include expansion array, micro matrix keypad, LCD, memory, power supply, serial communications, and I/O ports.

Good News! The Automatron Project is completed and posted at


Work will now intensify on the Humanoid Project and the development of several new designs for the Embedded Microcontrollers Array.

A new project is now underway to create several microcontroller boards with embedded microprocessors. Additional incorporated designs include expansion array, micro matrix keypad, LCD, memory, power supply, serial communications, and I/O ports.

Setting the gains is now automatic. Self Tuning Servos (STS) were created by programming in Test Mode (TM). Debugging is by Stop Gap (SG) where lines of code, subroutines, and/or modules are executed individually. The code Line Display Subroutine (LDS) shows a line by line execution of the program.

AutomaTron updates: RAM motion (up or down) is controlled with the x-axis. Backguage (forward or back) is managed with the y-axis. Backgauge height is controlled by a third dimension Z vector. Repeatability matches typical 25 ton presses. Limit switches are experimental; soft microswitches, Hall Effect devices, induction detectors, and optical vision recognizers.
AutomaTron motion control is accomplished with degrees of pulse width modulation. CPA Center pulse duration arguments program is complete. Homing is programmed with 1.5 ms pulses sent every 20 ms on each axis. Forward and reverse motion is achieved along the closed loop servo SCS Self Calibrating System with subroutines. Features include constant, or varied acceleration, velocities in +/- directions, and a self calibrating ABU Automatic Backlash Unit.
PLC User Programs (PUP) can be generated through the AutomaTron keyboard using the User Program Interface (UPI), embedded in the MMOS and Modular PBASIC code drivers. Keyboard code turns 16 hard keys into 80 total keys using special designed function modes. This is reminiscent of Clive Sinclair's marvel of achievement TS-1000 keyboard.

http://www.vavasour.ca/jeff/ts1000/help.html#key board

To make keyboard functions more easy, a locking shift key was added. In effect, the PLC can also function as an advanced mini-terminal.

The latest AutomaTron designs and working prototype completed includes the PLC "head," fabricated from a PIC-based 16 I/O 16C57 computer affectionately know as the "Electrical Cabinet." It includes a Grayhill 96 series black matrix keyboard, 4 x 5 matrix encoder, and low drain green LCD for display. The PLC commands a memory slave board with a series of operating screens, programmed on-the-fly or presaved.

I built a tiny PLC to control X-Y-Z axes driven by hobby servos interfaced to a miniature SSC. Multiple axes can achieve singular or plural states. Expansion is provided for up to 8 axes. An autonomous Light Curtain ALC safety feature is made from infrared beam detectors wired to the MCU. Breaking the transmitter-receiver beam results in safety effects, which are hardware (and/or software) programmed to OSHA regulations. ALC options halt the zaxis RAM, return the RAM to a previous state, RAM home, or move to a new location.

4 Jul 2002 (updated 6 Jul 2002 at 15:26 UTC) »

re: AUTOMATRON project. I designed MMOS, Micro Motion Operating System. It uses higher ordered modular code snippets to accomplish motion control. MMOS commands talk to the servos, LC, SSC, LCD, LED, EPROM, RAM, MCU and DGU. The OS modular aspect includes comment featuring, which makes programming by a succession of authors feasible and easy. This section is embedded in MMOS as SDE - Self Documentation Engine. MMOS code is burned into EEPROM via an Apple Macintosh or IBM compatible computer.

I have the Persistence of Vision Ray Tracer or POV-Ray for short, up and running on the Macintosh iBook, and I'm running adaptation tests to see how well it can serve as robotic humanoid simulation software. "This is a ray tracer, computer graphics software that can create stunning photo-realistic computer-generated images and animations. POV-Ray is Freeware, meaning you can download it and use it at no cost. It runs on many different operating systems, including Mac OS, Windows, DOS, Linux, FreeBSD, Sun OS, VMS, Irix, etc." The main site is at http://mac.povray.org/

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