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Offline Centaur

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Re: SoR annoucement: microcontroller product
« Reply #60 on: March 04, 2008, 11:51:24 PM »
An update on the status.

The 3rd prototype has been finished and tested. Only minor issues found, and all have been corrected. SPI has also been added (brought the SS pin out), as requested.

Next steps . . . I will now do a 4th prototype, which will basically be a short manufacturing run to make sure I didn't do anything dumb before spending thousands on a full run.

I should have the pricing finalized within a month, and the product in your hands within two months tops.

Any updates on this?  You made that post in the beginning of February, so does it still look like the board will be out in the beginning of April?  I'm looking for my first augmented micro-controller board and it really looks like you hit the nail on the head.  My number 1 concern was not enough ADC, servo control, and pwm for motors on all the boards I was looking at.  My first chioce was the robostix, until now.  Does that offer for ~20% discount still hold for the first production run?  I haven't completely made up my mind yet so don't hold me to it.  You could expect an IM in the next few days though (probably by the end of this weekend I'll have done enough research on everything to have made up my mind).  I've still got a lot to learn so that I can make a good decision on my first board.

*Edit*  I just noticed you haven't mentioned pwm for motor control (unless I missed it).  Will this board offer pwm?  (hopefully it's not obvious and I'm not asking a stupid question...) ???
« Last Edit: March 05, 2008, 12:00:26 AM by Centaur »
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Offline Mcrich113

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Re: SoR annoucement: microcontroller product
« Reply #61 on: March 05, 2008, 12:27:38 AM »
When will u bring it out? Can we try to make our own Axon ?

Offline skatj

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Re: SoR annoucement: microcontroller product
« Reply #62 on: March 05, 2008, 01:54:21 AM »
I'll definitely be interested in buying this if there is good documentation.

Would you say it is as easy to use as a Basic Stamp? (Obviously, it's a lot more powerful)

Offline AdminTopic starter

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Re: SoR annoucement: microcontroller product
« Reply #63 on: March 05, 2008, 08:31:53 AM »
My manufacturer took quite a while to get me a quote (2 weeks lost due to Chinese new years). I just got it in this morning. Given current known costs of everything, I'm 95% sure the final sale price will be $120.

They said turn around time is 2 weeks, plus an additional week for me. and I haven't done my pre-manufacturing run yet. I'm fairly sure it will be up for sale by end of April the latest. If the pre-manufacturing run comes out great, then just three more weeks.

In the meantime I've been working on the software a lot. I got three robots using it already, all of which I'll fully publish code for: my ERP, my robot fish, and a robot arm project I haven't announced yet. I'm really happy with the code simplicity now, took like 10 minutes of coding from the start to get that robot arm to work :)

I've made the code so that its easy to share it with other people, and easy to understand/edit. In all I'd say the Axon is 10 times easier than the $50 Robot. ;D

Quote
Does that offer for ~20% discount still hold for the first production run?

Hmmm it occurred to me I forgot to give a deadline for that . . . I meant it to be only a week. The offer only stood for the ~10 people that messaged me in the first week.

Quote
Would you say it is as easy to use as a Basic Stamp?

As easy if not easier. All hardware can be controlled with no more than 2 lines of code (usually just 1 line). And unlike the stamp, no additional wiring is required. I give detailed examples of everything in my not yet published documentation.

Offline Asellith

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Re: SoR annoucement: microcontroller product
« Reply #64 on: March 05, 2008, 08:53:38 AM »
Quick question. Is the usb for programming only or can I use it to communicate with the controller? I was looking into some phidgets for my new wheelchair based robot I start (mainly because I found a cheap working electric wheel chair :) ) I want to make it expandable for future testing. this is going to be my testing platform for code and electronics. So I am trying to design it to be easily modified to test a bit of code or a new sensor. I want to experiment with video as my new laptop has a webcam built in I was thinking of strapping it to the base and experimenting. Anyway I just wanted to know if the USB port was going to be accessible once the controller is running. Also how hard will it be to send stuff to the controller from the PC side. I have not done any USB programming yet.
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Offline AdminTopic starter

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Re: SoR annoucement: microcontroller product
« Reply #65 on: March 05, 2008, 09:01:23 AM »
Quote
Is the usb for programming only or can I use it to communicate with the controller?
Both. There are three other UARTs that you can also use, too.

Quote
Also how hard will it be to send stuff to the controller from the PC side.
Three steps:
plug in USB cable
open up hyperterminal and select your baud, com port
type into your keyboard

Couldn't be easier :P

Offline Centaur

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Re: SoR annoucement: microcontroller product
« Reply #66 on: March 05, 2008, 10:29:57 AM »
Will the controller be able to output pwm for motor control?
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent.  It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage - to move in the opposite direction.  ~E.F. Schumacker

Offline AdminTopic starter

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Re: SoR annoucement: microcontroller product
« Reply #67 on: March 05, 2008, 11:34:53 AM »
Quote
Will the controller be able to output pwm for motor control?
Oops, missed your earlier question . . . yeap, the chip has 12 PWM channels at 16 bit resolution. I think I pinned out like 8 of them. Let me know if you need an exact number on this.

Offline gamefreak

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Re: SoR annoucement: microcontroller product
« Reply #68 on: March 09, 2008, 07:41:24 PM »
due to my string of luck( atacked by ice chipper when i open a door, MEEP(robot for FIRST) biting a large chunk out of my finger(leaving blood stains all over my school), stabbing top of hands on screws hiding underneath MEEP, having MEEPS arm stab my shoulder when it decided to collapse when i kicked it, and many more) how do I know that when I turn it on some random thing won't shoot out and lacerate my left hand(for some reason 95% of my MEEP induced injuries have been on my left arm)

For instance, say i turn it on and some tiny pistol pops up on a spring and shoots me in the arm, or a capacitor gets up and kicks me in the shin. I have come to not trust screwdrivers since they like to stab my palm, screws because they stab the tops of my hands, soldering iron and solder because they sizzle my flesh and tin my fingers, wires because they stab the tips of my fingers, electrical conduit because it gives me injuries which have yet to be explained, MEEP because it randomly hits me across the head, hard hats because they fall and hit me in the head, candy because it is never there when I need it, money because of the same thing as candy, but im okay with the things that people lose limbs to.

Robots are out to get me, just because I kicked MEEP a few times and hit it with hammers for no reason other then I was bored, doesnt mean they have to drink my blood.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2008, 07:46:51 PM by gamefreak »
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Offline AdminTopic starter

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Re: SoR annoucement: microcontroller product
« Reply #69 on: March 09, 2008, 07:55:06 PM »
Sounds like you need to think more about safety . . . wear googles . . . and perhaps a leather glove on your left hand . . . ;D

I sometimes call it the 'stupid tax' . . . every stupid mistake you make, you pay for it in either $ or pain ;)

Others call it Darwinism :P

Offline gamefreak

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Re: SoR annoucement: microcontroller product
« Reply #70 on: March 09, 2008, 07:56:16 PM »
lol, well the stabbing of screws was from me picking up a OI for first, and the losing a portion of my finger noone can explain how I did it, so what is that? RoboKarma?
All hail Rodney, the holy 555 timer
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Offline airman00

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Re: SoR annoucement: microcontroller product
« Reply #71 on: March 09, 2008, 07:58:14 PM »
I sometimes call it the 'stupid tax' . . . every stupid mistake you make, you pay for it in either $ or pain ;)

I like that ! ( the quote, but not when it happens to me, lol )
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Offline Centaur

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Re: SoR annoucement: microcontroller product
« Reply #72 on: March 09, 2008, 10:19:44 PM »
Do you happen to have an estimated mass?  (from prototype or something).

I'm designing a sumo so I am trying to spec out everything for a mass estimation prior to purchasing parts.
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent.  It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage - to move in the opposite direction.  ~E.F. Schumacker

Offline Gertlex

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Re: SoR annoucement: microcontroller product
« Reply #73 on: March 09, 2008, 10:43:10 PM »
I'm glad I waited on getting a micro controller.  This looks to be the one for me  :)

But it will be so simple... If I ever do this stuff in some other situation (read a job, but that's not too likely, really), and am forced to work with less intelligent hardware, I might have to cry. Heh.
I

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Re: SoR annoucement: microcontroller product
« Reply #74 on: March 09, 2008, 10:57:03 PM »
Total weight is 34 grams (by comparison, a 9V battery is 40 grams).

Dimensions are now posted here:
http://www.societyofrobots.com/axon/images/axon_dimensions_large.png

The screw holes are 4-40.

As another update, I finally got in an order with the manufacturer on last Friday. Mouser.com however is taking really long to ship me the USB connectors . . . so thats now the bottleneck . . . doh . . .

Probably not interesting to most of you, but I'm currently writing software so that multiple Axons can communicate with each other through serial. Useful for multi-robot interaction (swarms, etc). I had a successful test last night. Its so nice to have four UART channels :)
And of course, as always, I'll post all source.

Offline Spoil9

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Re: SoR annoucement: microcontroller product
« Reply #75 on: March 10, 2008, 11:17:54 AM »
Just thought that I would share this from Wikipedia:
"An axon or nerve fiber, is a long, slender projection of a nerve cell, or neuron, that conducts electrical impulses away from the neuron's cell body or soma."

Can't wait till your MCU is ready to be sold and I'm back in the states so I can order one.
I was looking for a first MCU and I'm glad I've been waiting as this sounds like the most bang for my buck, plus no real additional costs for a programmer! Nice!
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Offline justsomeguy

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Re: SoR annoucement: microcontroller product
« Reply #76 on: March 11, 2008, 06:09:19 AM »
Total weight is 34 grams (by comparison, a 9V battery is 40 grams).
Dimensions are now posted here:
http://www.societyofrobots.com/axon/images/axon_dimensions_large.png
The screw holes are 4-40.


I'm guessing the dimensions are in inches?  just thought i'll check as i don't want to do a "mars lander"  ;)
so i multiply by 25.4 for real numbers  :D

Any ideas on shipping to the UK?

Dave,

Offline sdk32285

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Re: SoR annoucement: microcontroller product
« Reply #77 on: March 11, 2008, 06:19:52 AM »
I'm guessing the dimensions are in inches?  just thought i'll check as i don't want to do a "mars lander"  ;)
so i multiply by 25.4 for real numbers  :D

I guess if we are avoiding another "mars lander"...

1inch =2.54cm
1inch=0.0254m
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Offline AdminTopic starter

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Re: SoR annoucement: microcontroller product
« Reply #78 on: March 11, 2008, 06:31:39 AM »
The best way to avoid a mars lander is ask yourself if it makes sense that my board is 2.5cm or not ;)

(especially with my pic of it in my hand :P)

As for foreign shipping (such as to UK), shipping will be about $20 more (making it $140). I haven't really looked into it yet.

Offline airman00

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Re: SoR annoucement: microcontroller product
« Reply #79 on: March 17, 2008, 06:37:29 PM »
so admin, when will you start selling the board???
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Re: SoR annoucement: microcontroller product
« Reply #80 on: March 17, 2008, 07:47:27 PM »
My first test manufacturing run is currently being done now in China as we speak. They should start shipping it back in the next few days, so I'll probably have it in ~15 days tops. But I won't be selling that batch, as they are all already ear-marked for other stuff.

There appears to be a good chance I'll make the end of April (as I mentioned before) for the public offering. I'm still writing the documentation, but I'll release the documentation sometime end of April too.

And a side note . . . I'm working with Surveyor Corp to integrate their robot camera with the Axon - that means you can have advanced robot vision by calling just one or two lines of code. I hope you like ;)

Offline airman00

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Re: SoR annoucement: microcontroller product
« Reply #81 on: March 17, 2008, 07:51:58 PM »
And a side note . . . I'm working with Surveyor Corp to integrate their robot camera with the Axon - that means you can have advanced robot vision by calling just one or two lines of code. I hope you like ;)



but on a serious note

so I would choose the Axon for my prize for the robot contest but I don't really want to wait till end of April............
any possibility it would be ready sooner?
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Offline AdminTopic starter

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Re: SoR annoucement: microcontroller product
« Reply #82 on: March 17, 2008, 07:57:14 PM »
(I guessed that was your reason for asking :P)

Very small chance . . . sorry! If I had a choice, I'd be selling it like yesterday. But its out of my control.

Offline JesseWelling

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Re: SoR annoucement: microcontroller product
« Reply #83 on: March 17, 2008, 09:06:40 PM »
Have you thought of providing a FreeRTOS.org solution as well? It's really not that hard to port since there is already and Atmega32 project, and there is plenty of flash space as the RTOS is only about 19k

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Re: SoR annoucement: microcontroller product
« Reply #84 on: March 18, 2008, 05:01:42 AM »
Quote
Have you thought of providing a FreeRTOS.org solution as well?
Hmmmm not in the short term - the short term being this year . . . Got my plate full at the moment . . .

But since its open source, anyone could add it on if they'd like ;)

The RTOS will probably require a bit of modification considering the Axon has waaaay more I/O. AVRlib couldn't even handle it . . . had to heavily modify the UART and ADC stuff.

Offline Trumpkin

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Re: SoR annoucement: microcontroller product
« Reply #85 on: March 18, 2008, 09:34:58 AM »
After you are done with Axon, you should  make a lesser version for those of us who don't have $150. 
Robots are awesome!

Offline airman00

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Re: SoR annoucement: microcontroller product
« Reply #86 on: March 18, 2008, 10:28:41 AM »
After you are done with Axon, you should  make a lesser version for those of us who don't have $150. 

that was advised already by Rebelgium , Admin replied


Quote
Will there also be a Axon lite version? Just half of everything, 8 ADCs, 20 outputs, ...and half of the price
Nope. The market is flooded with beginner boards already. I wanted to make a board for those who want more features than a beginner board. The main reason I designed this board is because I needed these features but no board on the market offered them. These additional features is why the price is $100+
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Offline Trumpkin

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Re: SoR annoucement: microcontroller product
« Reply #87 on: March 18, 2008, 11:44:12 AM »
Oh, srry. I read that but forgot about it. :P
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Offline paulstreats

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Re: SoR annoucement: microcontroller product
« Reply #88 on: March 18, 2008, 05:48:47 PM »
Can you let me know what board house you are using, and how much they charge etc.. PLZ
Ive had some quotes for some boards for my own small business but they are astronomical in price especially if they populate them.

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Re: SoR annoucement: microcontroller product
« Reply #89 on: March 18, 2008, 09:12:18 PM »
Its a new assembly house, and I'm their first customer. As such, I'm expecting hickups, so my opinion wouldn't be very valid. But they are cheaper than what I could find in the US.

More importantly, the last company I was with had extremely bad customer service - so its not just about price.

I'll let you know who they are when they go live.

 


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