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Robotics – Intro To Microcontrollers

by on Jun.29, 2011, under Electronics, Microcontrollers, Picaxe



What is a microcontroller? Well, a microcontroller is a low-cost integrated circuit that contains memory, processing units, and input/output circuitry in a single package. Microcontrollers are purchased ‘blank’ and then programmed with a specific control program. Microcontrollers are usually programmed using the assembler, ‘C’, or Basic programming languages. Once programmed the microcontroller is build into a product to make the product more intelligent and easier to use. A quick look around your environment will provide you with a plethora of examples from computers, T.V.’s, microwave ovens, stoves, and even your car to name just a few. Practically every electronic device these days will contain at least one microcontroller, and sometimes more.

Similar to the microprocessor that powers your personal computer, microcontrollers are a specialized type of integrated circuit or “chip.” They are sometimes thought of as single chip computers because they incorporate circuitry such as timers and memory which are separate components in other microprocessor applications. For robotics they act as the brain of our projects and that of their embedded integrated sub-systems.

One of the most common types of microcontroller are the PIC family of microcontrollers by Microchip. PICAXE microcontrollers are, low-cost, re-programmable microcontrollers by Revolution Education Ltd. The PICAXE microcontroller is a PIC variant, a conventional PIC pre-programmed with a BASIC operating system. A PICAXE chip offers most of the control capabilities of a native PIC processor, but has almost no learning curve, requires no special hardware to program the chip, and is almost as inexpensive as unprogrammed PIC microcontrollers.

The vast majority of microcontoller projects you will find on my site that I will blog about are PICAXE microcontrollers from Revolution Education Ltd. Let us explore the PICAXE micocontoller further in my next post…Robotics – Intro To PICAXE

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Canada to Switch to Plastic Money!

by on Jun.23, 2011, under Uncategorized

OK, well actually the term the Bank of Canada uses is polymer, not plastic, and although polymer is sometimes taken to refer to plastics, it actually encompasses a large class of natural and synthetic materials with a wide variety of properties. On June 20th the bank of Canada announced they will be releasing the $100 and $50 polymer bank notes in November 2011 and March 2012 respectively. They feature a number of innovative, high tech, and cool new security features not the least of which are the see through windows! Check out this video that show cases these improvements to Canada’s money.

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No jail time for taco bomber

by on Jun.22, 2011, under Uncategorized

This is an article about the bomber that placed a bomb and blew up a Taco Del Mar just as I drove my bus past it. I watched in my mirrors as the debris shot across the road just missing the back of my bus loaded with innocent passengers . This is his sentencing…

“An arsonist who blew up a Taco Del Mar on W. Broadway in 2008 received a sentence of two years house arrest less a day on Monday.

Kamaljeet Singh Josan received the conditional sentence,…”

For the complete story, please go here.

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Vancouver Canucks fans riot – Raw video

by on Jun.16, 2011, under Uncategorized

Wednesday, June 15, 2011: Last night the Vancouver Canucks lost in game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals. Many fans took out their frustrations on our poor city by rioting and looting in the streets. Fires were set, cars and property were damaged, people were beaten. Watch raw video of the downtown Vancouver riots after game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals below. It was a shame that fans chose to riot instead of show good sportsmanship and congratulate the winning team. :(

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by on Jun.13, 2011, under Entertainment, Sports

An HD short film chronicling the legendary Johnny Canuck, his years of triumph and turmoil, and how they mirror the history of the Vancouver Canucks franchise and their Stanley Cup run in 2010-2011. This is great!! I just had to share it with you all. enjoy. :)

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Amazing Micro Sculptures

by on Jun.10, 2011, under Uncategorized

Talk about issues of scale! This guy uses a microscope and the hair off of a house fly’s back to carve his sculptures, amazing! Willard Wigan’s makes nano-sculpture’s that fit inside the eye of a needle. I would not have that kind of patients!

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Samuel A. Clarke

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