3Pi Progammer For Windows now available

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Available now is our FREE offline graphical programming tool for Windows.

This has similar programming capabilities to our online version, but runs from local files on Windows, and can interact with the Arduino software to automate uploading code to the 3Pi Robot with single click.

Check out the project page, or download the initial release here.

Maniacal Labs Explores the ESP8266

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Our friends over at Maniacal Labs did some playing around with the ESP8266 Wifi serial board. Daniel Ternes did a write-up on his experience getting a "hello world" up and and running and enumerated his lessons learned. He also talked about the steps he went through to update the firmware on the device that enabled it to run at baud rates higher that 9600bps.

Danial had to do a lot of digging to find the files and utilities needed to do the update. It's worth bookmarking the post for helpful hints if your just getting started with Wifi yourself.

We'll do some digging around and find all the latest and greatest tools and firmware, and libraries, and put link or host on our own page for the beastie.

 

New Tool - Programming Robots Visually.

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This is something we've been cooking up for a while, and it's finally ready to shrinkwrap and deliver to the masses.

Introducing the FREE Anibit Graphical Programmer for the Pololu 3pi Robot.

Here is what it looks like in action:

We have adapted a graphical programming environment for the Arduino known as "Blocklyduino" to be tailored to Pololu's 3Pi Robot Platform. Blocklyduino is itself an adaptation of Blockly, a software package for developers to create graphical programming environments.

Configuring Arduino 1.5.X IDE for Pololu's USB AVR Programmer.

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[Update for Arduino 1.6+, editing these files manually is not needed!, see 1.6+ instructions below!]

We think Pololu's USB AVR programmer is a pretty nice cost effective device for uploading code to AVR microcontrollers. (Not that we're biased or anything :) )

Many might not be aware that you can use the programmer with the Arduino IDE to upload Arduino sketches to "raw" (ie, non-Arduino) AVR chips. If you have a developer board with a 6-pin ICSP connector, or an AVR on a breadboard with an ISP adapter, it's fairly easy to use Pololu's programmer in conjunction with the Arduino IDE. Even if you are using an Arduino board, using a programmer has advantages over relying on the Arduino's built-in bootloader to upload code. Some bootloaders don't handle resets well, and can be picky about accepting accept new sketches. Also, the Arduino bootloader consumes space on the chip, so if you have a large sketch, you can reclaim some of that space by eliminating the bootloader and letting the programmer handle that function.
 

How to enable the Pololu USB AVR Programmer in the Arduino IDE

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Bulk Arduino programming jig

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The creator of the Mirobot has a write-up on a Raspberry Pi-based bulk Arduino programming jig. The setup was created to assist in the building of Mirobots for fulfilling his Kickstarter campaign.

It's essentially as Raspberry Pi that drives 5 USB to serial devices that in turn program an Arduino Pro mini. The bulk programmer uses a lighted button to initiate programming and give status/error/success feedback for each device. All of this is contained in a custom laser cut frame.

Using some custom node.js code, he was able have the programmer program each Arduino independently and concurrently, so that by the time he has mounted the last device, the first one is finished programming.

We're nuts for indie automation and metahacks here at Anibit, so his setup is very impressive and innovative. The Mirobot is a really neat looking device too!

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