Masters2015 – “Intro to the chipKIT” Workshop & Booth Demos Prove a Big Hit

In mid-August, we sent a three of our engineers to the MASTERs 2015, sponsored by our partner Microchip. The annual MASTERs conference was held this year in Phoenix, AZ, and is considered to be one of the top technical training conferences for embedded control engineers.

masters2015 entry
The balloon-laden entrance to the MASTERs 2015.

The chipKIT team had a significant presence at the Microchip MASTERs conference last week. Digilent’s Keith Vogel taught five sessions of his “Intro to chipKIT” class, which included hands-on exercises with MPIDE and the WF32 board.

The chipKIT Core software architecture includes Arduino compatibility classes

The class was full for all of its five sessions, and over 100 T-shirts were given away, along with a handful of boards and our zUNO clips.

Masters2015 Keith speaking
Keith in mid-discussion at the hands-on workshop during MASTERs 2015.
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Keith prepares for another class to arrive for the chipKIT workshop.
Masters2015 computer & chipKIT
The workshop is provided all that was necessary to sit down and start learning.
masters2015 swag
Digilent zUNO clips and chipKIT WF32 t-shirts served as swag for attendees.







Our booth had a lot of traffic.  The table was full of hardware with lots of LEDs blinking in a variety of ways. Keith and the Microchip team contingent of Rick, Sharon, Guy and Brian manned the booth along with help from Erik Cegnar and Michael Alexandar from Digilent. Steve Bible’s incredible 8x8x8 RGB LED cube was a crowd favorite, but not to be totally outdone by the RGB LED strip project, the chipKIT mood (lava lamp like) capacitive display, and the of course the snake game.  It makes you ponder: How many engineering hours have been spent blinking LEDs?

Masters2015 chipKIT booth close up on table
The array of chipKIT demos on display at the MASTERs 2015.
masters2015 chipKIT booth
The big LED cube was a great discussion starter.
MASTERs 2015 LabVIEW & chipKIT LED demo.

Academic Day found Erik presenting about our philosophy of implementing hands-on learning early in student curriculum.  He then went on to discuss chipKIT products that fit well into that mission statement such as the chipKIT uC32 and the MX7.

On Thursday, the team showed Josh Lindsay’s Murum Lux (Wall of Light) based on the Wi-FIRE (this device is releasing this month in production silicon) and Fubarino Mini, and Tony Stram’s Robot Arm, based on Uno32. There was a lot of attention given to these chipKIT-based demos.

The takeaway from the Masters conference this year was two-fold:  chipKIT is gaining both traction and popularity in the academic and maker markets as well as differentiating itself from the other Arduino-compatible microcontrollers that are available by offering devices with on-board WiFi, a fifteen volt external power supply and the Pro boards, which allow for two coding choices: assembly or C.

Looking for a project to create on a chipKIT board?  Try one of these!  Looking for more learning opportunities?  Go to our Digilent Learn site!

Do you have a chipKIT project you would like to share with us?  Please use the comment section of this blog post to share your thoughts and projects can be posted to our Project Vault.

Have a super day!



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