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Girls into Engineering event - Computing -22/6/2017

The Computing teams NAO robots seemed to have been a hit today: 


The robots were a hit it sounds see below:




All opinions in this blog are the Author's and should not in any way be seen as reflecting the views of any organisation the Author has any association with. Twitter @scottturneruon

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Micro:bit, Servo control with Micropython or blocks

You can control servos (small ones) from a Micro:Bit directly. Following a link from the David Whale (Twitter ) , thank you, took me to a Kitronik blog post, https://www.kitronik.co.uk/blog/using-bbc-microbit-control-servo/, which has the answer.

The code uses Microsoft Blocks taken from the post, runs the servos 180 degrees and back again, when button A is pressed. It does exactly what it should. I am also using the Tower Pro SG90 servo.
Can it be replicated in Micropython? This is a new mini project, there seems to be little out there yet on how do this but the best so far is this video by PHILG2864:



The closest I have is the following, it is essentially there.
from microbit import *
pin0.set_analog_period(20)
while True:
    pin0.write_analog(180)
    sleep(1000)
    pin0.write_analog(1)
    sleep(1000)

Setting the time period to 20ms  pin0.set_analog_period(20)seems by experiment (and used in the video above) to be best value so far. The reason for pin0.write_analog(1)  set to 1 i…

mbots - graphical programming and Arduino

Makeblock (http://mblock.cc/mbot/) funded through Kickstarter the development of a new robot - mBot (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1818505613/mbot-49-educational-robot-for-each-kid) with the subtitle "$49 educational robot for each kid". What they came up with is a interesting system that uses their mBlock software, which resembles Scratch but produces code for Arduino, to program a robot with LEDs, light sensors and buzzer integrated on the main board; but also comes with sensors for line-following, ultrasonic sensor and with the version in the kickstarter reward a 16x8 LED matrix.

My impression so far it is really quite intuitive to work with, in the example above the robot:

moves forward;displays 'f' on the LED matrix; turns right;displays 'r' on the LED matrix;repeats until the on-board is pressed to stop the motors. 

What I like most though is seeing the graphical code turned into Arduino code - the potential to see the same thing done into two ways…

4Tronix Bit:Bot Neuron Controlled Edge follower

In thelast post I was playing with 4Tronix'sBit:Bot. In this post I will show the initial experimentation with an artificial neuron controlling the Bit:Bot to follow the edge of a line (it follows the left-hand side of the line).


The neurons (well two separate ones, S1 and S2) are produced using weighted sums - summing the weights x inputs [ right-hand sensor (rs) and left-hand sensor (ls)] plus a bias for each neuron in this case w[0] and w[3].







    net=w[0]+w[1]*rs+w[2]*ls           net2=w[3]+w[4]*rs+w[5]*ls

  If weighted sum >=0 then its output 1 otherwise 0 if net>=0:          s1=1     else:         s1=0
    if net2>=0:         s2=1     else:         s2=0
What actual causes S1 to be either 1 or 0 is all defined by a set of weights w (three for the first neurone, S1,  three for S2).
w=[0,-1,1,-1,1,-1]


Converting the outputs of the two neurones S1 and S2 into actions is shown below.