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The Time Has Come to Build My Own Electronic Brain

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Max The Magnificent
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Re: Maximo Maker
Max The Magnificent   11/22/2016 9:49:56 AM
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@DigitalEngineer: ...Have you thought about doing it all analog ? It would add a mind blowing dynamic to the brain. More of a back to the roots kinda thing. A cell with a single transistor and a (variable) capacity...

Actually, this was my initial plan -- it was my chum Ivan who persuaded me to look at an MCU-based solution -- there are just so many fun things to do and so little time to do them all in...

DigitalEngineer
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Maximo Maker
DigitalEngineer   11/22/2016 7:57:27 AM
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This is exactly the reason, why I restrict myself to visit the Munich Maker lab only once a month. These projects are just way to inspiring and keep my 2 brain cells spinning.

Max, is there a local Maker Lab in your area, if not, you should start one.

Have you thought about doing it all analog ? It would add a mind blowing dynamic to the brain. More of a back to the roots kinda thing. A cell with a single transistor and a (variable) capacity.

Cheers, Tobias

PS: Did you spot the dead man in the video – oh wait a minute, he is still moving – you might want to go there again and help that poor creature.

PPS: The CEO of Siemens also thought about a basic income, but more or less to help the people left behind in the digital world, which is a different view point.

David_Ashton_EC
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Re: ...
David_Ashton_EC   11/21/2016 3:06:20 PM
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@Max... you and me both....dream on......

Max The Magnificent
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Re: MCU Suggestion
Max The Magnificent   11/21/2016 10:26:11 AM
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@jwizard93: ...I just wanted to mention a very cheap PIC MCU that I've found can handle software PWM on all five of it's outputs no problem. The PIC12LF1552...

Thanks for the suggestion -- we (my chum Duane and myself) are just in the process of bouncing ideas back and forth on this.

In addition to +5V, GND, and two I2C pins, we need three pins to drive the tri-colored LED -- we're still undecided as to whether to have these as PWMs or just on/off.

If we envisage each cell as occupying a cube, and if we say each cell can accept one input from below, above, left, right, forward, and back, plus it has one output to indicate it's triggered, then in addition to power, ground, and I2C we need 10 digital I/Os -- so that's a 14-pin chip.

Another decision is whether we go surface mount or lead-through hole. The former would make for a much smaller cell, but the latter would allow self-assembly. We were wondering if people would be interested in buying these and building their own brains.

Watch for my next column on this topic...

Max The Magnificent
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Re: ...
Max The Magnificent   11/21/2016 10:11:10 AM
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@David: ...I gotta win the lotto, retire and get time for stuff like this :-)

Wouldn't it be amazing to have the (financial) freedom to be able to meet up with like-minded friends and work on hobby projects like this?

David_Ashton_EC
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Re: ...
David_Ashton_EC   11/20/2016 1:58:58 PM
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@Realjjj you mean shrink a whole bunch of them :-) Those spherical drones are clever, I've seen a couple of variations on them.  I saw one video of one flying through a forest, doesn't matter if it bumps nto trees....

jwizard93
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MCU Suggestion
jwizard93   11/20/2016 1:17:42 PM
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This project sounds pretty sweet. I'm pretty new and have only a small amount of experience, but I just wanted to mention a very cheap PIC MCU that I've found can handle software PWM on all five of it's outputs no problem. The PIC12LF1552 has a 4x PLL that gets you executing instructions at 8 MHz. If you already have a PIC programmer you can get the RGBs plus two auxillary single colors flashing and fading with virtually any pattern for about $0.70 a pop. I thought I did well to select this MCU for my LED project so I thought I'd share. I don't recall the I2C situation but if you drop an auxillary LED it could be handled with software I presume. I look forward to reading more about this.

realjjj
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Re: ...
realjjj   11/20/2016 7:09:11 AM
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Yeah like and then we shrink one of these https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55d5ppwQBQ4

David_Ashton_EC
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Re: ...
David_Ashton_EC   11/20/2016 4:23:18 AM
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@Realjjj... ok, have a look at this. Along the lines of what you want....

https://www.elektormagazine.com/news/swarm-of-drones-for-light-show

realjjj
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Re: ...
realjjj   11/20/2016 3:07:28 AM
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Was deviating from that, wanted fireflies in the night so each light would need to be able to fly. You wouldn't have control to create an image but maybe that's better as predictability would make it boring.

Flying seemed easier in a liquid and electromagnets could be a viable propulsion system at the right ball density. Each ball would have a mind of its own but it has to be kept simple to keep mechanical volume and costs in check.

In my first comment i was mentioning maybe adding a laser sculpture. One or a few lasers at the base and some mirrors. With wired balls you could add laser in some balls ,maybe some mirrors in other balls. Optical fiber can be used too, doesn't have to be only LEDs.

 

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