Category Archives: Makers

SHOW-AND-TELL LIVE VIDEO! 5/23/18 (video) #showandtell @adafruit #adafruit



SHOW-AND-TELL LIVE VIDEO! 5/23/18 (video). Want to join the #showandtell Here’s how and video. The live chat for videos is over on Adafruit’s Discord server, JOIN here!


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Robot Archaeology: Blimp Robots #Robots #Blimp #Dirigible #CRICKIT #MakeRobotFriend


Adafruit loves DIY blimps! We’ve written about many Maker blimps (dirigibles) over the past 10+ years, they are just so cool. And they are ultra-affordable, often using materials already found around the house or at the party store.

blimps

What is a blimp? A blimp is a vehicle that uses a gas-filled bag to achieve lift into the atmosphere. You can think of a helium balloon with a string a tethered mini-blimp. Most blimps come with a control mechanism to be able to steer around. The controls don’t have to be electric, but they often are. Using a small motor (like drone motors), a blimp can move around in a controlled manner (similar to full-size blimps).

Would you like to explore projects which resulted in inexpensive controlled blimps? Here is a list of past and present Maker blimps for you to look through:

With the new Adafruit Crickit Creative Robotics & Interactive Construction Kit board, we think some pretty robots can be built, especially blimps and other flying bots.

Keep an eye out for our design work with Crickit on the Adafruit blog.

Show us what blimp projects you know of or are working on in the comments below! Blimps = #MakeRobotFriend!

 


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NEW PRODUCT – Ultra High Density DotStar LED PCB Bar – 128 LEDs


NEW PRODUCT – Ultra High Density DotStar LED PCB Bar – 128 LEDs


Look, just bolt this to your ceiling fan already – we know that’s the first thing you thought of! OK, so you already know what DotStar LEDs are – those digitally controllable LEDs that have two data wires and higher refresh rates for than NeoPixels. You can control them with any microcontroller since the timing on the data lines isn’t particular, and you can use an SPI peripheral to send data pretty fast. DotStars come in the classic 5050 (5mm x 5mm) size as well as an adorable 2020 (2mm x 2mm)

So what we have here is a special rigid PCB with 128 those tiny 2mm x 2mm LEDs on em, as close as possible. We already have flexible LEDs, but with the ultra high density (240 LED/meter density) we have here, you have to go rigid. Also, instead of a plain FR4 PCB it has an aluminum backing for extra strength and heat dissipation. Note that the PCB is rigid but requires support so it doesn’t droop and crack. It’s not intended to be bent or curved at all, and if you do so you may crack the copper traces.

3776 iso ORIG 2018 05

3776 detail 01 ORIG 2018 05

This rigid LED Bar is just under half a meter long (400mm, excluding connectors) with 128 addressable LEDs and looks fantastic as accent lighting, back lighting, edge lighting, etc! However, we must note these bars are not cheap, and require some care to use. First, they must have mechanical support so they don’t bend & crack. Second, you could turn on all the LEDs on at full brightness and draw about 6 Amps but you’ll overheat and damage the LEDs. So instead, keep your brightness at 50% or don’t light up to many LEDs. Keep the power usage at under 15W (3A @ 5V)

3776 quarter top ORIG 2018 05

These bars come with a 4-pin JST SM connector on both ends (and an extra GND and 5V wire), but you can remove these easily with a soldering iron. For the power wires, you will probably want a 2.1mm DC jack to wire in, so you can connect one of our 5V wall adapters to power it.

We have a tutorial showing wiring, power usage calculations, example code for usage, etc. Please check it out!

3776 lit 02 ORIG 2018 05

In stock and shipping now!


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NEW PRODUCT – Ada Twist, Scientist


Ada Twista Scientist Book Front ORIG 2018 04 orig

NEW PRODUCT – Ada Twist, Scientist


The creators of the New York Times bestselling picture books Rosie Revere, Engineer and Iggy Peck, Architect are back with a story about the power of curiosity in the hands of a child who is on a mission to use science to understand her world. Ada Twist, Scientist, from powerhouse team Andrea Beaty and David Roberts, is a celebration of STEM, perseverance, and passion.

Like her classmates, builder Iggy and inventor Rosie, scientist Ada, a character of color, has a boundless imagination and has always been hopelessly curious. Why are there pointy things stuck to a rose? Why are there hairs growing inside your nose? When her house fills with a horrific, toe-curling smell, Ada knows it’s up to her to find the source. Not afraid of failure, she embarks on a fact-finding mission and conducts scientific experiments, all in the name of discovery. But, this time, her experiments lead to even more stink and get her into trouble!

Ada Twista Scientist Book 02 ORIG 2018 04 orig

Inspired by real-life makers such as Ada Lovelace and Marie Curie, Ada Twist, Scientist champions girl power and women scientists, and brings welcome diversity to picture books about girls in science. Touching on themes of never giving up and problem-solving, Ada comes to learn that her questions might not always lead to answers, but rather to more questions. She may never find the source of the stink, but with a supportive family and the space to figure it out, she’ll be able to feed her curiosity in the ways a young scientist should.

Excellent for use in:

  • STEM
  • Common Core
  • Next-Gen Science Standards
  • Creativity & Innovation
  • Character Education – Grit/Perseverance
  • History: Ada Lovelace

For reviews, teacher’s guides, interviews, and more check out the Ada Twist, Scientist website!

Ada Twista Scientist Book 03 ORIG 2018 04 orig

Ada Twista Scientist Book ORIG back 2018 04 orig

In stock and shipping now!


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CircuitPython 3.0.0 Beta 0 Released!


From the GitHub Release Page:

3.0.0 is the latest major revision of CircuitPython and features new support for the SAMD51 (aka M4) and preliminary support for the nRF52 BLE chipset. It also features better memory utilization so more can be loaded in the same amount of space.

Beta!

This is an beta release of 3.0.0. It has the full functionality of 2.x on M0 boards but has API changes and potentially bugs. Please use the latest stable release when first starting with CircuitPython. It is stable.

When you find a bug please check the current known issues and file an issue if something isn’t already known.

Changes since Alpha 6

  • A number of ESP8266 fixes. Thanks @sommersoft, @jerryneedell and @larsks!
  • CircuitPython and Blinka logos are now in logo. Thanks @tannewt and @deshipu
  • Improve RTC precision on SAMD21. Thanks @notro
  • Re-enable audiobusio.PDMIn with frequency renamed to sample_rate. Thanks @tannewt
  • microcontroller.cpu.temperature implemented on SAMD21 and SAMD51. Thanks @dhalbert
  • ubinascii is renamed binascii to match CPython. Thanks @jepler
  • samd.clock add to enable low level clock tuning. Thanks @notro
  • CPU cache enabled on SAMD51 leading to 1-2x speed improvement. Thanks @dhalbert and @WestfW
  • AudioOut and I2SOut now support pause and resume while playing back a sample. Thanks @tannewt
  • Support kwargs in bitbangio. Thanks @deanm1278
  • nRF52 build now includes framebuf, binascii and hashlib thanks to @jepler
  • Makefile improvements around selecting Python build. Thanks @rhooper
  • Doc improvements thanks to @wickedchicken and @kattni
  • Top-level Makefile builds sphinx docs thanks to @khawley
  • OSErrors are now more human friendly thanks to @godlygeek
  • ucollections has been replaced with collections to match CPython. Thanks @bildzeitung.
  • supervisor.reload() now available to reload the VM. It no longer uses KeyboardInterruptException but rather its own ReloadException. Thanks to @rhooper
  • Trinket M0 and Gemma M0 builds no longer include pin objects for all microcontroller pins. They only include those used by the board. Thanks to @rhooper
  • Add board.I2C(), board.SPI() and board.UART() as singleton objects for default buses as defined on the board. Thanks to @matt-land
  • bitbangio.I2C now has timeout kwarg to set max clock stretch wait time. Thanks to @jerryneedell
  • Longints are now supported on M0 Express boards (along with M4 boards). Thanks to @notro and @dhalbert
  • Add custom board for CircuitPlayground Crickit. Thanks to @dhalbert and @ladyada.

Installation

To install follow the instructions in our new Welcome to CircuitPython! guide. To install the latest libraries, see this page in that guide.

Try the latest version of the Mu editor for creating and editing your CircuitPython programs and for easy access to the CircuitPython serial connection (the REPL).

All builds except ESP8266 are available as both UF2 and bin files here along with test builds.

New Features in 3.0.0

Breaking Changes!

  • ustruct has been replaced with struct to match CPython.
  • ucollections has been replaced with collections to match CPython. Thanks @bildzeitung.
  • ubinascii is renamed binascii to match CPython. Thanks @jepler
  • The mpy format has changed so make sure and use a 3.0.0 bundle for libraries.
  • Non-standard array types inherited from MicroPython are no longer supported in favor of matching CPython. Thanks to @jepler.
  • audioio.AudioOut now takes the sample to playback in play rather than in the constructor. (This enables playback through other outputs such as audiobusio.I2SOut.) It also means you only need one AudioOut for multiple samples.
  • PDMIn‘s frequency property has been renamed to sample_rate.
  • Trinket M0 and Gemma M0 builds no longer include pin objects for all microcontroller pins. They only include those used by the board. Thanks to @rhooper
  • Auto-reload no longer uses KeyboardInterruptException but rather its own ReloadException. Thanks to @rhooper

Thanks

Thank you to all who used, tested, contributed, helped out, and participated on GitHub, sprinted with us at PyCon and/or chatted with us on Discord:
@ladyada, @dhalbert, @tannewt, @kattni, @microbuilder, @arturo182, @jamesadevine, @tralamazza, @hathach, @glennrub, @siddacious, @deshipu, @tdicola, @mrmcwethy, @willingc, @sommersoft, @deanm1278, @jerryneedell, @stewmystre, @boneskull, @Sigafoos, @brentru, @caternuson, @process1183, @Andon-A, @asherlie, adamwolf, dastels, @hukuzatuna, @KurticusMaximus, nis, BravoDelta, aj_nys, @wolf, @vesperk38, @jepler, @notro, CGrover, @larsks, @WestfW, @rhooper, @khawley, @godlygeek, @bildzeitung, @matt-land, @wickedchicken, @margaret, sdw_nj, @ntoll, MikeBarela, Josh, Les, @cefn, (from PyCon sprints) Dylan W, Anders, David, Dylan H, Adam, John, Chris, Lady Red, Craig, Aaron, John, Boris, Drew and Kathryn and surely more we have missed. Join us on the Discord chat to collaborate.

Documentation

Documentation is available on readthedocs.io.

Here are all the changes since 2.3.1.

This release is based on MicroPython 1.9.3. Support upstream MicroPython by purchasing a PyBoard (from Adafruit here).

Troubleshooting

Check out this guide for info on common problems with CircuitPython. If you are still having, then post to the Adafruit Support Forums and join Discord.


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The Making of Tank: An 80’s retro inspired short film by @5tu


Watch the short film on YouTube

Putting aside current 3D modeling techniques, Red Giant’s Chief Creative Officer Stu Maschwitz looked to the past and built a visual homage to vector arcade games of the 80’s entirely in Adobe After Effects, using math, code, and hundreds of hours of painstaking animation work.

TANK tells the story of a team of pilots that must take on a weapon of mass destruction in a battle to save their world.


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YOLOv3 – Object Detection



YOLOv3 (video).


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