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[DPRG] Cheap micro

Subject: [DPRG] Cheap micro
From: Sanjay Dastoor sanjayd at stanford.edu
Date: Thu May 18 23:00:02 CDT 2006

Hey all,

Found a micro on sale and thought I'd pass on the info.  Based on a  
9S12 proc, 8 MHz crystal, 5V regulator, 232 transceiver,  10-bit A2D,  
32K flash, 2K RAM, 24-pin DIP (Stamp sized).  We've used them quite  
successfully in my class for PWM, Capture/Compare, driving motors and  
servos, reading sensors, sync. and async comms, ... standard robot  
control stuff.  Programmed in C.  They're going now for $30 instead  
of the usual $45.  Here's the website:

http://www.technologicalarts.ca/catalog/product_info.php/products_id/234

Take a look if you're interested.  I'm not trying to sell them or  
anything, but I can vouch for their quality and ease of use.

In other news, my mechatronics class has entered its third quarter.   
Our project this time:  RC boats.  4 boats, up to 12"x18" footprint,  
race 4 other boats across a long rectangular pond.  They start from  
opposite ends and there are obstacles, so they must pass each other.   
First team with 3 boats to the other side wins.

But, one boat on each team is a "destroyer", and if an opposing boat  
passes within 2 feet of it, the opposing boat is disabled for 5-15  
seconds.  A damaged boat must display some indicator that it's  
damaged - our team is using model train smoke generators.  Only the  
person with the destroyer's remote control knows they're the  
destroyer.  And who it is changes during each match.

The opposing boats can sense the destroyer, as it must emit a 40 kHz  
ultrasound and IR signal (the difference between pulses can be used  
for time-of-flight calculations for distance).  Each boat must  
transmit back to its remote control the destroyer's position and  
proximity.

The boats and remotes are all custom built (fiberglass, project  
boxes, rubbermaid containers, etc.).  And all remotes must work with  
all boats, so we have to meet as a class and agree on a group  
communications protocol.  All teams are given two Zigbee radios (one  
for ship, one for remote).

Finally, we're encourage to be creative with boats and remotes.  So  
some teams are doing propeller and rudder, others a paddle boat,  
others a row boat (with mechanical rowing oars).  That team's remote  
is actually a small pair of oars, so to go faster you have to "row"  
faster.  Other teams are using steering wheels, DDR pads, etc.  So  
yeah, I'll keep you guys posted on how it goes.  And of course, if  
any of you are in the Bay Area on June 1st, let me know and you can  
come to the presentation.  Because the kicker is, at the competition,  
WE don't get the drive the boats -- the audience does.

Anyhoo, hope things are going well in Dallas.  Happy robot'ing.

-Sanjay

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