STM32F4 – the first taste of speed

The recently announced STM32F4 series of processors using the ARM Cortex M4 are very attractive. High speeds, large memory space and a floating point unit are among the obvious benefits although there are many other architectural changes in the ST chips. This evening, I managed to get my STM32F4-Discovery board doing something…

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Flying, flocking, and squirming robots at IROS

Last month, the International Conference on Robotics and Intelligent Systems (IROS) celebrated 50 years of robotics. If the program was anything to go by, there was more going on than a team of interested people could keep up with. New Scientist has a short video of some of the more…

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Dennis Ritchie obituary

The American computer scientist Dennis Ritchie, who has died aged 70 after a long illness, was one of the co-inventors of the Unix operating system and the C programming language. Unix and C provided the infrastructure software and tools that created much of today's computing environment – from the internet…

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Measure angular error using front sensors

The front, or forward-facing, sensors on a micromouse have several uses. Apart from detecting the distance to walls ahead and obstacles on one side or another, properly setup forward sensors can be used to measure an angular error with respect to a wall ahead of the mouse… (more…)

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Using the front sensors for triggering turns

While your micromouse is exploring the maze, it is important to make sure that it stays well aligned as much as possible. This is probably more difficult in some ways than during a speed run. A particular difficulty can be an accurate and repeatable 90 degree turn… (more…)

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Front Sensor Replacement

My micromouse, Decimus 2A, has not been behaving well. The most notable problem is that detection of the wall ahead, and the distance to that wall has been erratic. Worse, the problem seems to come and go. For a while I thought I might have damaged an emitter or had a dry joint but, when I looked again at the calibration figure, the left front sensor was giving a reading much smaller than the right front sensor… (more…)

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Taiwan 2011 Day 4

GPS track for day 4 of the 2011 trip to TaiwanWhile there are several flights available out of Taiwan, it was convenient for me to take the late, overnight flight. It does not leave until 10:45pm so that gives an entire day in which to visit some more of the island. Efficient transport and a small island make it quite possible to go just about anywhere. This time, I chose to take the cable car up to the mountains near Taipei Zoo. (more…)

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