Robotics and FPGAs (6) - The Plan 1, Managing the 17 DOF Robot Project

Up till now we have merrily plodded along in the construction and assembly of the 17 DOF robotics kit. However, as we all know projects very rarely have unlimited resources and budgets, unless of course they are being conducted by a superpower trying to prove a point. We are neither a superpower, neither are we trying to prove a point and more importantly our pockets are shallow.

Hence, just like in any discipline, we need a plan even if it is only a half-baked one to maintain focus, mitigate risk and prevent costs from spiralling out of control. So the focus of this blog post is to develop the skeleton of a project plan, which will be fleshed out as we progress in the series. We do things this way, as unfortunately, we do not have the resource to preplan the project in-depth before hand, which is typical of home-brew projects.

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Mac OS X Dev (2) - Installing KiCad (Mavericks 10.9.5)

KiCad is an open source software suite for Electronic Design Automation (EDA) that facilitates the creation of professional schematics and Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) of up to 32 copper layers. It runs on Windows, Linux and Apple's OS X. One of the things we like about KiCad, apart from it being endorsed by CERN, is this multi-platform support. We also like the fact that it is released under the open-source GNU GPL v2 free of charge.

However, free does not mean free of functionality, on the contrary. This is a fully-fledged, feature rich EDA tool, that we will be using from now on to design our PCBs. Also, because the software is available to our readers too, our design files should be freely available once we switch over to Git Hub. Installing KiCad on a Macbook Air with Mavericks 10.9.5 is the topic of this blog post. 

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