Monthly Archives: May, 2014
Imagination Technologies is making its innovative FlowCloud technology available to developers, including the maker community and hobbyists, to speed application development for the Internet of Things (IoT). FlowCloud support will be available on several low-cost development boards with MIPS CPUs across a range of operating systems.
It’s been a exciting weekend here in Romania, and the 10th edition of the EU Digilent Design Contest is now in the books! What started 10 years ago as a small contest held at the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca has turned into something much bigger. Since then, we’ve sponsored contests in the USA, China, and India, and our Romanian contest now covers the entire EU!
Maker Faire 2014 was my first convention of any kind and the experience exceeded any expectations I could have had. From the time I stepped on the grounds, I was enveloped in the “Maker” camaraderie that exists despite the community being comprised of different skill sets and backgrounds. Really, we are all there because we just fit in, because we are Makers.
I’m an intern at Digilent working on converting a dune buggy to electric power. Once the buggy is complete, the operator will have the options to use either remote control or autonomous operation and will exemplify the functionality of Digilent products. The overall goal is to create something fun yet safe that will encourage innovators to go out and build something awesome.
We are excited to announce that that we will be hosting a pre-conference workshop this year at the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) conference in Indianapolis. This workshop will be led by our Academic Initiatives Director, John Schneider, and will be held on Sunday, June 16, at the Indianapolis Convention Center. We are excited to promote our “every student, every assignment” message with this workshop entitled, “Teaching Engineering Design with Student-Owned Digital and Analog Lab Equipment”. Look for pictures of the workshop to be posted after the event!
While Digilent has just recently launched the new Learn Site that is dedicated to teaching beginners, students, and hobbyists alike, it is always good form to share a great find, and the Discover Electronics Kit from Sparkle Labs qualifies! If you’ve had even the slightest interest in getting your feet wet in the world of electronics, but struggle to find a good starting point, look no further; this kit is designed specifically for beginners. The Discover Electronics Kit contains all of the basic components and information needed to get those feet submerged in the proverbial ocean of electronics.
The story behind the Analog Shield began with Dr. Gregory Kovacs, professor at Stanford University, who saw the successes his students had with the Arduino Uno and use that as a bridge into the world of analog electronics. However, the analog features on the Uno were limited and he needed to create a platform that would enable all of the concepts he wanted to teach on one platform. So when Dr. Gregory approached us and asked if we wanted to make his Analog Shield, we said, “Absolutely!”
Today, half of the Digilent team has already left to go to Romania for our EU Design Contest, while the other half of us are getting the last minute things together to leave for Bay Area Maker Faire. From all across the world, “makers” (people who enjoy making and creating things) flock to the Bay Area to attend the Bay Area World Maker Faire, which is projected to have over 125,000 attendees! This year, we are sharing a booth with our supplier-partner, Microchip Technologies, and have quite the line-up for anyone who comes by.
As the chipKIT ecosystem and user base continue to expand, there’s a growing need for more flexible ways to mount these boards. After all, the standard form factor hole-pattern leaves much to be desired when it comes to mounting your host board into your project. Which is why we created the zUNOTM Clip for chipKIT, Arduino, and Arduino form-factor boards.
Half of the team is headed to Digilent Romania for the 10-year Anniversary Design Contest, while the other half of is gearing up to go to Bay Area Maker Faire!
If you are near either Romania or in the USA, Bay Area, we would love to have you stop by and say hello! Stay tuned on our Twitter and Facebook feeds to see the events as they happen.
Hey, everyone! Are you getting your week started right by using our awesome MPIDE for your programming needs? Are you just getting started with MPIDE? One of the first major functions used when starting out in MPIDE is the delay() function, as it makes it easy to see an LED blink on and off. However, once things get more complicated and multiple operations become necessary (e.g., configuring multiple digits on a 7-segment to display well as processing the data to display). The Timers library provides a way to easily define functions that should be called periodically. For example, function foo() should be called every 10 milliseconds.
Digilent’s EU Design Contest will be held at the Technical College in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, on May 17-18. This year, we will have around 38 teams in the final presentation! BlogPictureContestants will be doing chipKIT microntroller/robotics projects and digital design systems based on the Xilinx ARM System on a Zynq. All project entries can be found at the design contest site.
At Digilent, we use Fritzing to present educational concepts. A lot of our Learn projects feature Fritzing. A number of our parts (with more being added regularly) are in Fritzing Projects (search for Digilent) and in the user-created parts repository. From designing circuits to demonstrating new concepts, we use Fritzing for showing people what we’re working on. We also use some Fritzing graphics in our inventories for our Learn projects. (The one shown below is from a project about debouncing circuits with libraries.)