DIY hardware interface for simple data collection and robot control?

For issues with communication ports, protocols, etc.
h4tt3n
Posts: 676
Joined: Oct 22, 2005 21:12
Location: Denmark

Re: DIY hardware interface for simple data collection and robot control?

Postby h4tt3n » Jan 25, 2018 17:47

MrSwiss wrote:
h4tt3n wrote:Do you know of an economic, software controllable piece of hardware that will allow us to flip a series of pins on/off or do measurements on them?
Yes, have a look at Arduino, or any of the many Clones: "Open Source HW", as well as
plenty possible add on Modules (for many specific tasks, such as Network, Robotics etc.).
Controlled by itself, autonomous mode (external control via VCP, serial communication).

Price here, for a Uno/Clone: 15 - 25 US$/piece (completely assembled/soldered board).
There are even special sets available, for educational purposes.


Thanks, noted! :-)
h4tt3n
Posts: 676
Joined: Oct 22, 2005 21:12
Location: Denmark

Re: DIY hardware interface for simple data collection and robot control?

Postby h4tt3n » Jan 25, 2018 17:57

badidea wrote:Apart from the hardware, do you have practical (automation) ideas that the students would interest?


Yes. Most of it is pretty straight-forward. For the input part, I want to measure if a certain switch is on or off. I'd also like to measure frequency / rotations per second when comparing different pendulums / wind turbines / steam engines / DIY electromotors etc. I would also like to measure voltage as a means of comparing temperature / light / sound / generator output. For the output part, I would simply like to be able to turn stuff on and off, like a LED, relay, or thyristor.

With these basic building blocks, some scrap metal and bit of duct tape we can make almost everything.
Gunslinger
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Joined: Mar 08, 2016 19:10

Re: DIY hardware interface for simple data collection and robot control?

Postby Gunslinger » Jan 27, 2018 18:53

A lot of arduino starter kit are easy to find.
https://nl.aliexpress.com/store/1738188 ... autifyAB=5
h4tt3n
Posts: 676
Joined: Oct 22, 2005 21:12
Location: Denmark

Re: DIY hardware interface for simple data collection and robot control?

Postby h4tt3n » Feb 13, 2018 11:11

Hello again,

I've been looking into things and have decided on the Arduino. I have ordered an Arduino Uno and Mega and some extra shields for sensor input and motor control. The programming ide is very straight forward to use for anyone with basic programming skills, and when the mailman arrives I'll already have several test programs ready to install.
As a side note, growing up with the Commodore and Amiga computers, the lack of direct hardware access in modern pc's have become increasingly frustrating, and simply beeing able to read and write directly to a pin without having to install any libraries, drivers or bypass abstraction layers or safety measures really feels like beeing "home" again :-)

I'll keep you updated, Cheers Mike
grindstone
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Joined: May 05, 2015 5:35
Location: Germany

Re: DIY hardware interface for simple data collection and robot control?

Postby grindstone » Feb 19, 2018 12:11

I found an interesting site:
http://vusb.wikidot.com/start
MrSwiss
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Joined: Jun 02, 2013 9:27
Location: Switzerland

Re: DIY hardware interface for simple data collection and robot control?

Postby MrSwiss » Dec 13, 2018 14:14

h4tt3n wrote:I'll keep you updated, Cheers Mike

Well, how far is your current progress? Just curious ...
h4tt3n
Posts: 676
Joined: Oct 22, 2005 21:12
Location: Denmark

Re: DIY hardware interface for simple data collection and robot control?

Postby h4tt3n » Dec 15, 2018 8:39

MrSwiss wrote:
h4tt3n wrote:I'll keep you updated, Cheers Mike

Well, how far is your current progress? Just curious ...


I ended up trying Arduino and wasn't disappointed. It's basically like an old Commodore 64 in a matchbox :-) For a very few quid, and spending a very little time, you've got LED's blinking and stepper motors humming about. Throw in a few rubber bands, some duct tape, scrap wood, and LEGO bricks, and you're away inventing stuff.

Cheers, Mike
TJF
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Joined: Dec 06, 2009 22:27
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Re: DIY hardware interface for simple data collection and robot control?

Postby TJF » Dec 26, 2018 10:27

Hi h4tt3n!

Arduino is a good choise, since newcommers can get a system running in a short time. They don't have to study lots of configuration stuff.

But it's limited when it comes to big memory or fast CPU requirements, ie. video or network tasks. And you cannot follow your initial plan
h4tt3n wrote:... I am planning on using FB as an integral part of my education.

Unfortunatelly nobody pointed you to the Beaglebone hardware yet. That are modern check card computers in a cost range starting at Arduino level, but running a modern CPU under LINUX. Several hardware flovours are availabe, ie.

  • Pocket Beagle (headless, cheap and small)
  • Green (headless with original headers)
  • Green wireless (WLAN, headless with original headers)
  • Black (hdmi output)
  • Blue (prepared for roboting tasks)
Due to special co-processors (PRU = Programable Realtime Unit, two are available) they do not only have the same realtime capabilities as an Arduino, they are much better even when running under a non-realtime OS.

Unlike other LINUX systems the hardware configuration is as easy as on the Arduino. No setup in any system files. Instead everything gets controlled in single source from your code, when you use a special library called libpruio.

And finally this library is a FreeBASIC project. You can also use FreeBASIC for you project code, and therefor follow your original planning. (Further languages: currently C and Python.)

Do not hasitate to ask if you need further information.

Regards
h4tt3n
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Joined: Oct 22, 2005 21:12
Location: Denmark

Re: DIY hardware interface for simple data collection and robot control?

Postby h4tt3n » Dec 26, 2018 12:00

Hi TJF,

That looks really cool! :) So far I'm going to stick with Arduino because I don't really need a lot of cpu power or memory, but I really, really need it to be simple, and I need the very easy I/O functionality that allows you to add sensors, led's, motors and so on.

Cheers, and happy holidays,
Mike
TJF
Posts: 3417
Joined: Dec 06, 2009 22:27
Location: N47°, E15°

Re: DIY hardware interface for simple data collection and robot control?

Postby TJF » Dec 26, 2018 12:41

It does not only look cool :-)

Sure, it takes a lot off effort starting a new educational job. Everything has to be prepared well, in order not to fail in the classroom. You don't need much CPU power and memory. But your students may need in future. And when you have your head free, starting to think about their needs, I hope you'll remember my proposal.

All the best for your job!

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