Robotics and FPGAs (7) - Design of a Multi-Channel Servo Controller Board (Rev. 1), Part 1 - The Design Definition

I have found it difficult completing this blog post this week, let alone doing any programming, as I have just discovered the series "Breaking Bad" on Netflix. Now, what I like about this show is how intelligently the show has been thought out, typical of what any engineering design project should be really. The plot, the cast, the characters have not just been cobbled together, but have been interwoven into an intricate and delicate interlinking pattern of intrigue and suspense that has led to the show's success. "Who would have imagined you breaking bad?"

The design of our 17 DOF robot, like system design in general, should not be anything different. It should consist of well thought out building blocks, which will include mechanical design, digital hardware design and software programming, amongst many other scientific disciplines including physics and electrical engineering. Also, if we do not want our robot to harm anybody we may need to include the discipline of philosophy and maybe incorporate Asimov's laws of robotics too! For now, in this blog post, we will concentrate on the design of a printed circuit board to mainly control the robot's servos.

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First Impression (4) - The BeMicro Max 10 Evaulation Kit, A FPGA Perspective

When is a Complex Logic Programmable Device (CLPD) not a CPLD? When it is being touted as an entry-level FPGA. The arrival of the Max 10 in the FPGA arena is an interesting one and could be the final confluence of Altera's CPLDs with their FPGAs. A historic matter that irked their main rival for many years.

Have Altera finally reached the decision that the traditional CPLD has no place in the modern programmable logic world? Or have they simply added some macro and analog components to TSMC’s 55 nm embedded NOR flash technology to create an FPGA with instant-on functionality? Well, Arrow have released the Max 10 FPGA Evaluation Kit for you to decide for yourself, as we do in this blog post.

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