3 days ago •
We now finally have a panel programming and testing board for the MappyDot panels and future sensors we are working on (before installing pogo pins):
It's a simple but feature packed design. The way it works is that each board has a controllable power supply through a TCA6424A 24-Bit digital I/O expander. This allows for programming and testing of an individual device on the panel (it has also been designed to allow all boards to turn on at once for a purely aesthetic effect with the PWM LED output).
Each of the other I/O pins from every board is then connected on a shared bus which is brought back to a Teensy. This can then test for dry joints/disconnected pins on the currently powered board. Now, because they are on a shared bus, there's no way to identify if a board has a short on a certain pin under test, but this is rare occurrence, so if this happens the panel can be taken out and checked manually.
The test routine is just a script which uses avrdude to program the board and check for errors, then it will run a serial terminal program to run through the pin test (built into the firmware) and i2c data test routines as well as calibration. It cycles through every board and then it flags individual boards for errors that need to be fixed.
This should speed things up over the existing individual board programmer and tester:
11/28/2017 at 03:50 •
The MappyDot is 15% off until Wednesday this week on Tindie, so if you've missed out on those juicy Cyber Monday specials there's still time to tick that off this year's bucket list - https://www.tindie.com/products/blecky/mappydot-micro-smart-lidar-sensor/?pt=ac_prod_search
11/07/2017 at 11:54 •
What a crazy weekend. I was in Adelaide for Maker Faire with a MappyDot stall:
I met up with the awesome Mick from MickMakes. He's a really nice fellow and also grabbed me a coffee when I was looking visibly withdrawn from caffeine. I also briefly caught up with the guys from Core Electronics and we each showed off some kit.
Getting to Adelaide from Melbourne was the first hurdle. Just a short 727km drive gets you there in about 9 hrs with a short break:
10/26/2017 at 05:13 •
There's now a MappyDot 3D step file in the repository for you to use with any circuit layout/visualisation or design placement. There's also a field of view file as well to help people with the placement of their designs.
10/22/2017 at 04:24 •
Wow, that was truly unexpected, the competition year on year has been harder and harder with some super polished and awesome projects out there. The Hackaday prizes are always a rollercoaster ride of emotions and they require so much work to meet the prize guidelines, so it's always a shame to see some really awesome projects not make it through. Don't lose focus though, keep going and get them out to the world!
It's been an awesome journey this past year for MappyDot. The biggest challenge has been actually getting to the point where there is a tangible thing people can actually purchase and use. That has honestly been the most rewarding part of all of this with some good feedback coming in.
A big thank you must go out to everyone that has supported the project so far as well as the judges!
There's a crazy couple of weeks ahead while preparations are made for Makerfaire Adelaide, but soon after that there will be a few announcements about upcoming developments.
On a final note, here's our video for the finals (apologies for the marketingish approach, the video was in the works for the Tindie store and Makerfaire and the deadline for finals after the Anything Goes announcement was really tight):
10/16/2017 at 09:26 •
Just a sneak preview of a Mappydot piano that is being made up for Makerfaire Adelaide (and its own build guide for you to build one too). It is run by 8 MappyDots (on the dev breakout boards) and a Teensy 3.2 while using the awesome Teensy audio libraries to do all the work. The Mappyano has an integrated amplifier/speaker and power supply as well, so you just have to drive it with 5-12V and out comes all the noise you need to drive your housemates/spouse/fish crazy. There's 8 keys, but there will be some modifier buttons as well to change the note's output. There will also be USB out to allow for use as a midi device.
The notes have a striking distance threshold and an output velocity that controls the Attack-Decay-Sustain-Release of the note. So depending on how you hit the air, the notes change their tone.
Once everything is hooked up, there's some extra sections to restrict the viewing angle of each of the MappyDots which are held in with some small screws. This prevents excessive measurement overlap between each sensor:
10/16/2017 at 01:41 •
I've written up a quick demo application for using the MappyDot as a standalone device.
The example shows the MappyDot connected to an I2C slave 7 segment display which we are using as a measurement readout badge for MakerFaire Adelaide:
There's a small trick to enabling the bootloader for this as the MappyDot is running in master mode during operation. During boot the MappyDot remains in I2C slave mode until the bootloader times out (1 second). So to load new firmware, you reset the MappyDot and run the firmware loading application in this time-frame (it's the same procedure as firmware recovery if you brick the firmware).
This procedure allows you to load any arbitrary code on the MappyDot. The repository has the demo code used for this example.
09/29/2017 at 03:45 •
Edit: There's now a how to guide for you to work through to set this up.
I've been getting a demo up and running for Maker Faire with the mBot robit and MappyDots:
There is an extension for scratch which will be on the repo shortly, which allows you to connect a few MappyDots up to the mBot, to get it to drive around and avoid running into your legs or run away from your cat.
09/25/2017 at 15:40 •
I will be at Maker Faire Adelaide this November 5th with a few hands on MappyDot demos, such as an air piano and a hand (The Force) controllable mBot. I'll be doing a road trip to Adelaide on the 2nd from Melbourne, so I'll snap a few pics along the way.
I have received a new batch of MappyDot PCBs from OSHPark as well with a smaller size to make it easier to assemble:
So from now until November I'll be making these up for sale at Maker Faire at a discounted price.
09/11/2017 at 13:51 •
A small first batch of MappyDots has been unofficially soft launched on Friday as a way to get postage and packaging sorted out. There's still a few left on the Tindie store if you are interested in getting them early. There will be another larger batch available by the end of the week, so if you miss out there won't be too much delay.
There are two packaging options, one is a simple mailer sent as a letter for smaller orders without tracking, to try and make things as cheap as possible. The other is for larger orders or if you want tracking. Australia Post only allows tracking on parcels, which has a limit of 500grams for the cheapest option, so since the MappyDots are tiny and only weigh a few grams, I have thrown in a few Aussie sweets to fill the extra weight and provide additional cushioning :)
Sorting out customs forms and shipping has been interesting. When you create a waybill for a parcel on the AusPost website it creates a series of A5 customs documents for you to print. They require an A5 plastic sleeve to put these in, which is meant to be provided by the AusPost stores for free when you drop them off. Well it turns out the AusPost stores have no idea about this and don't actually stock them, nor do any of the major stationary or office supply stores. So after visiting 4 post stores I got them to contact the corporate center to find out how to actually do this. One store in Melbourne's CBD had them in stock so I took a trip in to grab a few.
When I got there they first said they didn't have them. I said they were just called about 20 minutes ago and to take another look. Low and behold, they did have them but then they wanted to charge me for them. Since I have already spoken to the corporate center about it all, I said firstly they are free and secondly they don't even have a stock code, so they have no way to bill me for them. A few minutes later the staff member finally gave up on the sales terminal and gave me a large handful and served the next customer.
Normally this isn't a problem because you fill out these forms by hand, rather than printing them. And they have an abundance of these handwritten forms. But it was interesting to see that our postage services really haven't caught up with international shipping and the internet in 2017.
So far the MappyDot has been shipped to the US, Hungary and Spain. Hopefully we can dot the entire map!