Microcontroller In Circuit Serial Programming (ICSP) with Microchip PIC and Atmel AVR

In Circuit Serial Programming is a method of directly programming a Microchip PIC or Atmel AVR while in they are connected to a circuit, as opposed to programming the chip ahead, and only then soldering it to a circuit. There are many benefits to ICSP, but also some important design considerations which I will try to highlight.

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Fast Object Tracking – Robot Computer Vision

I wanted my robot to be able to track object and follow them. The first thing I wanted to do is give the robot the ability to follow an object with its head camera. The head camera is mounted on a pan-tilt servo system, and hence is capable of moving left and right, up and down (as seen in the picture below).

My second object tracking goal was to make the robot chase after an object, much like a dog would chase a ball thrown by his owner. This kind of tracking is quite harder – it would use the head camera tracking from the previous step, and combine it with rest of the robot sensors to follow the object.

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Linux Robotic Platform – an Intelligent Robot

Intellibot - an Intelligent Robot

I have always wanted to experiment with robotics, and lately I’ve found the time to build an “intelligent”, open-source robotic platform.

The platform runs embedded debian linux, and includes the following main capabilities:

1. Computer Vision (imitation of the human vision. The robot sees and “understands” what it sees). For this I have extensively used the OpenCV project.

2. Speech Synthesis (imitation of human speech. The ability to speak). For this I have used Espeak.

3. Speech Recognition (the ability to understand vocal commands). For this I have used CMU Sphinx 4 (after modifying some of the files in the project)

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Automatic Caller Identifier for Maemo (Nokia Linux OS)

Nokia N900

Automatic Caller Identification uses several sites on the internet to find the identification of unknown incoming calls, and display it while receiving such calls.

The project is developed for Maemo, Nokia’s embedded Linux operating system.

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Building a Custom Debian Kernel for the BeagleBoard

While trying to get my WIFI dongle to work with the BeagleBoard, I noticed that the dongle’s module was not compiled into the kernel. So I had to build a new kernel from scratch. Since building a new kernel under the BeagleBoard will take a LOT of time, I decided to cross-compile a kernel for the ARM architecture under my AMD-64 arch PC.

The following steps describes building a custom Debian kernel for the BeagleBoard using cross-compiling:

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