Engineer | WGM Consulting
Engineer, PhD, lecturer, freelance technical writer, blogger & tweeter interested in robots, AI, planetary explorers and all things electronic. STEM ambassador. Designed, built and programmed my first microcomputer in 1976. Still learning, still building, still coding today.
1 week ago
A number of my recent posts have covered aspects of robot sensor interfacing. Now I’ll look at a simple program that uses a sensor to help a robot move around without bumping into things, and another to steer it towards the light.
1 month ago
Since the 1950s, the application of Artificial Intelligence theory to real-world problem solving has proceeded as a series of bursts of rapid advance and optimism with ‘winters’ of gloom and disillusionment in between. Where are we in the cycle now?
2 months ago
The JAXA spacecraft Hayabusa-2 has just sent back to Earth about 100mg of material taken from the asteroid Ryugu. More robotic explorers are scheduled to send back bits of comets, asteroids and planets in the future.
3 months ago
OK, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. But the AmbaSat satellite kit I backed on Kickstarter last year has finally arrived – complete with a launch-slot certificate.
3 months ago
Rangefinders based on the principles of ultrasonic sonar allow small mobile robots to measure short distances to objects with reasonable precision. Although far from perfect, they are still pretty good at preventing collisions.
4 months ago
An essential feature of any automated factory based on the concepts of Industry 4.0 is the ability to predict mechanical failure of the machines and if not fix faults automatically, at least provide a timely warning to the guys with the spanners.
5 months ago
Having been a fan of the computer language Forth for many years, I began a project some time ago to create a version for embedded control based on the Microchip dsPIC33. DS blog posts have covered my progress to this version for the Clicker 2 board.
6 months ago
After five articles covering the protocols and practical implementations of wired serial bus systems: UART, SPI and I2C, I’m finishing up with a serial wireless (radio) link for a remote-control mobile robot.
7 months ago
Crucial to monitoring and forecasting the spread of a virus during a pandemic is the acquisition of accurate infection data. Traditional manual laboratory techniques have proved to be inadequate during Covid-19. Can new technology help?
8 months ago
The penultimate part of my series on serial communication: Catching a Bus. The subject is a practical project which uses UART, I2C and SPI serial busses to link various OTS modules together, forming the ‘brains’ of a wireless/autonomous mobile robot.
9 months ago
Most modern peripheral device chips, such as sensors and motor drivers, communicate with a controller via a serial data bus. Microcontrollers usually support one or more of three basic types: UART, SPI and I2C. How do they work and which to choose?
9 months ago
In the middle of a pandemic and no one has any idea how many people are infected and how fast it’s spread. Modern epidemic forecasting seems to be about as accurate as nineteenth century weather forecasting, but why?