Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Low cost microcontrolling

I had a terrible issue at work today. We certainly have to give up from a windows controlled device, depending on time critical software to use a cheap and easy to find microcontroller.

Making a couple of phone calls to local electronics shops, draws me to one single option. Microchip's PIC 16F family.

So, let's go to PIC world: (Programming the PIC16F84 with LINUX)
The PIC16F84 is easily found at any electronics shops in my town. It costs around R$ 15,00 (fifteen reais), local brazilian currency, which is around US$ 8.45.

Programming PIC’s in Linux using C with SDCC

Intro to Programming PIC Microcontrollers in Linux (PonyProg - GLP Serial devices programmer) (sdcc for PIC HowTo)

There is a good Spanish site about PIC projects at

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Some free/open tools for hobbies

[Open source PCB routing] MUCS-PCB - The University of Manchester School Of Computer Science PCB design software

Ladder Logic for PIC and AVR

SketchFlat: 2d CAD, with Constraints

SOLVESPACE -- parametric 3d CAD

And for autorouting on kicad, there is the closed source freerouting

Monday, June 14, 2010

Multi (platform) browser CSS

Reading an old friend's blog, I've seeing some tools he likes and there a particular one very suitable for my own needs. The blueprint CSS framework it uses the git hub. There is also some tips on using it with PHP (my favorite scripting language).


IFTools has an free/libre open source (wxWindows license) communication terminal which uses a multi platform communications library.
Worth to take a look at:

Coffee machine robot

Here at IDEIA we share a common spare time project. We want to build a robot which brings the coffee from the kitchen to our offices.
This project was a little inspired by the S.T.A.I.R. project from Stanford.
Looking around we've found the Mobile Robot Programming Toolkit (MRPT).
And perhaps worth to look at:

Thursday, June 10, 2010

[SIGGRAPH 2009]Build Your Own 3D Scanner: Optical Triangulation for Beginners

There is an interesting course on 3D scanning at SIGRAPH 2009:

Other good resources on 3D can be found at:,1