eduArdu update

eduArdu

I blogged about eduArdu the EUR 15 educational Arduino based board at the beginning of October, the plan was to have prototypes in 2 weeks which unfortunately didn’t happen, anyway now we have first prototypes built and work on the software support.

eduArdu2

We are preparing Arduino libraries for all features:

  • scrolling text and writing images on the LED8x8 matrix
  • playing single tone and multi tone sounds on the buzzer
  • measuring the temperature with the on-board sensor
  • measuring the light with LDR
  • detecting movements with the PIR sensor
  • reading distance to objects with Ultrasound sensor
  • reading the Joystick status
  • driving servo motors connected to the two  connectors
  • reading audio signals via microphone
  • driving RGB and the red LEDs on board
  • reading resistance on the 6 GPIOs to implement Makey-makey
  • receive IR remote commands and transmit IR codes to control air conditions, TVs etc.

TuxCon is preparing free Arduino day in “Prof. Asen Zlatarov” school in Parvomay on December 15th, where volunteers will teach students how to program in Arduino and make the first steps in programming and electronics.

TuxCon is non for profit organization and does all events free of charge aiming to spark interest in kids for IT technologies. If you want such event to be provided in your school please write in TuxCon facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/tuxcon.mobi/

Scratch gets lot of attention for enabling even very small kids to program with visual blocks. We though it would be good eduArdu to support it and add blocks to Scratch which to allow embedded board programming with Scratch.

I’ve tested Scratch 1 many years ago, it was relatively easy to add hardware board support at that time via Python web server running jango and communicating with Arduino fermata. It’s obsoletenow and in maintenance mode i.e. no bug fixes and developments.

Scratch 2.0 was re-writen in Action script and uses Adobe Flash technology for animation, really bad choice as we did try to use it several times with Linux and never succeed. This version is also in maintenance mode now.

So we moved to test Scratch 3.0 which is re-written in HTML5 and looks great, but unfortunately they closed the extensions for boards and now support officially just Microbit and Lego. Probably this is their way to get some money for their efforts. There are issues open from people who use other boards and wanted to migrate their old projects to 3.0 posted almost year ago without any action, so we really are puzzled after all this popularity they got, this is the best way to shoot themselves in the leg.

Fortunately there are many alternatives to Scratch, like Snap

It’s totally open for adding blocks and has tens of GitHub projects adding blocks for different robot platforms, Arduino, Raspberry pi etc embedded stuff.

So we will add support for eduArdu in Snap too.

Setup OLIMEXINO-STM32 to work with Arduino IDE

arduinostm32

Arduino IDE support Cortex-M ARM architecture and although STM32 is not “officially” included stm32duino.com has all the resources to add support for STM32 boards in Arduino.

This forum post explains what should be done step by step to setup and use OLIMEXINO-STM32 board with Arduino IDE.

eduArdu is new Open Source Hardware educational board targeting kid’s digital education

eduArdu

Few weeks ago we got contacted by Digital Kidz an non for profit foundation which goals are to support digital literacy and innovative education in the schools. They needed hardware board, which to be easy to use and to allow entry level programming with Scratch and Arduino for beginners. They were ready to pay for the development, but we liked the idea and decided to design one such board for free and release it as Open Source Hardware.

The result is here:

eduArdu-explained

The design is based on ATmega32U4 which is easily programmable with Arduino IDE. We named it “eduArdu” as this is educational board programmable with Arduino.

eduArdu has these features:

  • USB connector for programming and power supply
  • red LED matrix 8×8 which allow text and small image animations
  • X-Y Joystick with push button for navigation
  • Microphone for Audio sensing and interactions
  • Speaker for Audio output
  • Light sensor with LDR
  • Digital temperature sensor
  • RGB LED
  • Status LED
  • IR remote control LED and receiver to talk to other boards, TVs, Air conditioners, etc.
  • PIR motion detector up to 6 meter range
  • UltraSound distance measurement sensor
  • Two SERVO motor connectors (to build easily two wheel robot car)
  • LiPo charger so the whole board may work on LiPO power
  • 6 Makey-Makey style buttons
  • UEXT connector for additional modules

eduArdu-front

The board is shaped like Game console. The first prototypes will be ready in 2 weeks.

Target sale price is EUR 15.00

Water Level Switch and submersible water pump for your aquarium or home flowers watering automation in stock!

SNS-WATER-LEVEL

SNS-WATER-LEVEL is floating magnet with reed contact sensor with travel length of 50 mm. It allow you to switch on off small pump which to keep the fluid level constant and to refill it.  You can directly connect to Arduino or ESP32 IoT boards GPIO.

IMM-WATER-PUMP

IMM-WATER-PUMP is silent submersible water pump which can help you to filter the aquarium water or to watering your flowers at home. It works with 3VDC and consume 0.12A.

 

TUXCON FOSS and OSHW conference 2018 in Plovdiv is just 18 days away, so plan your visit properly ;)

15241999_541171392758646_9152584434294422876_n

TuxCon 2018 conference about Free Open Source Software and Open Source Hardware will be June 9 and 10th in Plovdiv.

This is community driven event done by volunteers with the support of local IT companies and it’s totally free to participate.

In Saturday 9th of June in the Technical University building there will be two rooms, for lectures and workshops.

Hacking Risc-V core, implemented on iCE40 FPGA and playing with it’s instruction set and making small “monitor” program which allow you to enter programs written on machine code and executed on iCE40HX8K-EVB + iCE40-IO will be demonstrated, so if you want to touch and make your first program on RISC-V “computer” with VGA monitor and keyboard you may find Rangel Ivanov lecture interesting.

Plamen Vaisolov is retro computer maniac and keep working on them, implementing modern floppy disk emulators and other peripherials. He will share his experience with all these who miss Karateka and Load Runner 🙂

Neven Boyanov will talk about his experience with LoRA network and how to start on low budged.

Dimitar Gamishev has two interesting talks, one is for the Open Source Hardware and Software GPS car navigation he made. In the  second he will speak about the home assistants like Google Home and Alexa, how to implement them with small Linux computer like OLinuXino and even with ESP32-Lyra and how to impress your girlfriend by switching on and off appliances and lights with your voice.

There will be KiCAD workshop where everyone (even with no knowledge) will learn how to install, configure and make small robot PCB with KiCAD. Then some general knowledges about PCB materials and how to prepare all files and send to PCB board house for manufacturing. How to select the components, footprints, good routing practices, DRC/ERC checks, Gerber generation and tips how to design your PCBs in way to be produced at lower cost. At the workshop will be our design engineers and you can talk to them directly about issues you encountered when worked with KiCAD or other CAD product.

 

In Sunday 10th of June we will have traditional Soldering workshop at Olimex training building, where we will assembly and program with Arduino small robot which can follow line or escape from labyrinth. This will be the same robot which PCB we will design in the KiCAD workshop in the previous day. We will go detailed through the program and study how modifications affect it.

The workshop with end with barbeque in Olimex backyard 🙂

 

We are looking forward to see you in Plovdiv soon!

Arduino Day 2018 in Plovdiv


arduino

Arduino Day is on 12th of May and celebrating at near 500 locations all around the world.

TuxCon and Smarty Kids foundation are participating in this initiative and organize event in Plovdiv in Grand center from 15.00 to 17.30.

The event is free and anyone can participate and learn how to program ESP8266-EVB boards with Arduino and to control servo motors remotely.

The original Arduino map is wrong, so if you want to participate please do not go to Saedinenie but to Plovdiv 🙂

The room has limited seats so we advice you to register in advance. If there are more people interested the organizers are ready to do it again for all these who can’t manage to register on time.

MOD-BME280 precise Humidity, Temperature and Pressure sensor Open Source Hardware module with UEXT and Breadboard connector

MOD-BME-u

BME280 is digital humidity, temperature and pressure sensor with I2C and SPI interface.

You can see on this link comparison of different Humidity sensors

The operating conditions are:

  • Temperature -40..+85C;
  • Humidity 0…100 % Rh;
  • Pressure 300…1100 hPa  (+9000m..-500m above sea level);

The sensor works on 3.3V and is with very low power consumption 0,1..3,6 uA.

The easiest way to connect MOD-BME280 is with UEXT connector to any board with UEXT connector as shown on the picture above.

For boards which has no UEXT connector MOD-BME280 can be connected via four jumper wires on breadboard:

MOD-BME280-b

The KiCad files are uploaded on GitHub.

The demo software use Adafruit BME280 libraries with two small modifications. The default address in MOD-BME280 is 0x76 while Adafruit library is set to 0x77.

UEXT connector requires D8 to be set LOW to power and 10 ms delay to settle the power before addressing the sensor. The code is at GitHub.

When you run it you will see this:

Screenshot from 2018-03-27 14-35-38

The sensor is very precise, if you move board up and down you can see altitude changes. The 171 meter is the altitude of Olimex building.

MOD-BME280 is perfect for IoT application for environmental conditions logging due to the low power consumption and precise measurements. It can be used both for indoor and outdoor applications.

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