Digilent Inc.'sI/O Explorer board is a microcontroller-powered USB based input/output
expansion peripheral for PC computers. The I/O Explorer is useful for introductory
to intermediate programming classes to give students the ability to interact with
I/O devices outside of the PC.
USB Peripheral Devices
The I/O Explorer
provides RC servo connectors and a number of built-in I/O devices, such as switches,
push buttons, LEDs, rotary encoders and a speaker/buzzer. Also included are
Digilent Peripheral Module (PmodTM) connectors that allow access to and control
of devices external to the I/O Explorer. The board may be used either as a USB bus powered device or as a
self powered device. The board provides analog input channels and analog output
channels via on-board Analog to Digital (A/D) and Digital to Analog (D/A) converters.
There is also a Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter (UART) interface
for asynchronous serial communications.
The I/O Explorer can also be used as a microcontroller development board. It
microcontrollers, one having USB device capability. All the user requires is a
programming cable or in-system debugger to load firmware into the microcontroller.
Digilent supplies the firmware images needed to restore the I/O Explorer to the
factory configuration as a USB peripheral device if it has been reprogrammed
with user defined firmware.
In a bid to boost the viability of lithium-based electric car batteries, a team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a chemistry that could possibly double an EV’s driving range while cutting its battery cost in half.
Using Siemens NX software, a team of engineering students from the University of Michigan built an electric vehicle and raced in the 2013 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. One of those students blogged for Design News throughout the race.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.