Summer of Digilent

As the school year comes to an end and people and families prepare for their vacations, their minds begin to relax. To keep those minds sharp and focused, it may be time to start a summer project. Going through the Internet to find such a project can be tedious and time-consuming. If you don’t want to spend time going through thousands of Instructables, then maybe we can help. Let’s take a look at some of our projects and products that could help fill those lax summer hours.

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Soda Can Theremin Video

We recently published a video about a simple Theremin built using the Analog Discovery and the Analog Parts Kit. A Theremin is an electronic musical instrument which essentially turns the user into a variable capacitor. The user can then adjust the frequency of the sound produced by the instrument by moving their hand in relation to an antenna. As the distance to the antenna changes, the capacitance also changes, thus changing the signal frequency. In the Theremin showcased in this video, a recycled soda can is used as the antenna.

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Microcontroller Dice Roller — Made in the MakerSpace

If you’ve been keeping up with our blog, you’ve probably seen something about us setting up our very own MakerSpace here at Digilent. We’ve come a long way from a few cluttered cubicles to getting our MakerSpace up and running. We have just about everything you can think of to make any project imaginable: a 3D printer, a soldering station, breadboards, buttons, copious amounts of LEDs, and more! I thought up a just-for-fun project and wanted to test drive the MakerSpace to see what I could build.

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Marketing Space Makeover

As Digilent has been expanding its MakerSpace, we felt that the area that the Marketing team was working in was not terribly conducive towards promoting and growing the MakerSpace. In reality, cubicles don’t tend to be conducive towards anything classy, but that’s beside the point. The point today is that the new Marketing area has become classy in a “MakerSpace” fashion and that we’re super excited about it.

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Susan the Line-Following Pig – MakerSpace Edition

A while ago, I introduced Susan the line-following pig in this blog post. Since then, Susan has garnered a lot of interest from her appearances at ASEE and in various other blog posts. A couple of weeks ago, we held a hardware MakerSpace featuring Susan. We had employees from sales and engineering together putting together the kits. Susan is built off of the MRK + Line Robot Kit that you can view or purchase here, if you’re interested in making a line-following robot of your own.

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3D Printing Makerspace Class

Now that another week has passed, it is time for a more recent MakerSpace update! A few weeks ago, James wrote a blog post about one of the 3D printers that we were entrusted with. In addition to the 3D Touch, we were also charged with a MakerBot Replicator 2. Having two printers on loan, Larissa decided that it was about time for a training session on the basic use and care of the 3D printer. Two Fridays ago, we had an introductory class on the new 3D printers, and last Friday was a class on basic 3D design.

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Controlling LED strips with chipKIT

A few weeks ago, we found ourselves in the Digilent Makerspace tinkering with some fantastic LED strips, the WS2811 / WS2812. If you haven’t played with these yet, you really ought to. I grew up loving colored lights. Some kids threw the baseball, while I made amusing shapes on a Lite-Brite and begged to put Christmas lights in my window in mid-September. That being said, you can see how giving a weirdo like me a strip of individually-controlled LEDs, each supporting 24-bit color, would be like giving matches to a madman.

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Electric Dune Buggy

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.

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chipKIT Uno32- animatronic puppet style

he Learn.DigilentInc site was launched two weeks ago with several microcontroller projects on it.
After doing all of the projects loaded on the site, I was inspired to test out the skills on a more complex project: seeing if I can use my chipKIT Uno32 with a Starbot Animatronic Puppet. Check out how it turned out and let me know what you think!

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