Archive for the ‘Software’ Category

Improved support for third-party hardware in Arduino 0018

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

Given the increasing numbers of boards and microcontrollers to which people have ported the Arduino core libraries, we wanted to make it easier to add third-party hardware to the Arduino development environment. The recently released Arduino 0018 (download) adds support for the installation of contributed cores and board definitions within the Arduino sketchbook folder. This saves you from having to dig around within the Arduino application as was required in previous versions and also ensures that the boards will remain when you upgrade to newer Arduino releases.

To install, simply place the third-party hardware folder in a sub-folder of the “hardware” folder of your sketchbook folder (see the instructions on the environment page). When you relaunch Arduino, the new boards will automatically appear in your Tools > Board menu and code will compile using their custom core libraries. To put together an installable platform for a particular hardware configuration, see the platforms page in the Arduino Google Code project.

This support isn’t perfect yet, but we hope it will make it easier to work with other hardware from within the Arduino development environment. If you have suggestions, please send them to the developers mailing list or post them in the Google Code issues list.

New library folder (and compilation process) in Arduino 0017.

Saturday, August 15th, 2009

As of Arduino 0017, you can install contributed libraries into the libraries sub-directory of your sketchbook directory. Moving libraries outside of the Arduino application directory means that the libraries will stay installed when you upgrade to a new release of the Arduino software. It also means that, on the Mac, you don’t need to search around inside the new to install a library.

Before installing your first library, you’ll need to create the libraries directory. Then, simply unzip the library into it. When you restart Arduino, the library should appear in the Sketch > Import Library menu. Any examples for the library should show up in the Files > Examples menu.

Your sketchbook is typically stored in a directory called Arduino in your documents directory. The exact location is shown in the preferences dialog in the Arduino software.

Extra note for developers and Linux users: In Arduino 0017, libraries are no longer pre-compiled when you make a selection from the board menu. Instead, they are compiled with your sketch, like the Arduino core. This means that you don’t need to delete .o files when making changes to a library’s source code. It also means that Arduino shouldn’t write to any files in its application directory, making it easier to install on Linux. Plus, there’s no more delay when switching boards.

Go Go Gobetwino

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

Since we started the Southern Scandinavia Arduino meetings last year, Mikael would pop up to show his latest music instrument, discuss about some funky projects or just drink a cup of coffee. During our last meeting in Malmo, he came out with his best kept secret: Gobetwino, a Windows program that can link Arduino boards with anything software. There are many approaches to connect Arduino with software packages, but he takes the one of hacking one of the most useful MS Windows features: it is possible to call any programs by means of keystrokes, and it is possible to generate keystroke-like events via software.

Gobetwino by M. Morup, picture by D. Sjunnesson

Gobetwino by M. Morup, picture by D. Sjunnesson

Gobetwino will log data into a file, send you an email, type into a word document or an excel sheet, send a command to Arduino on email arrival… The only backdrop of this amazing piece of code is that it won’t run in my Ubuntu-powered laptop! The software is currently freeware in its revision 0.5 and Mikael promises in his website he will open source it in the future, once the code has been cleaned up and the Danish comments have been translated (believe me, you don’t want Danish-commented source… or maybe you do) . It comes with a 35 pages manual that will guide you through the configurations needed to make Gobetwino open files, send emails, and report to Arduino. If you want to help Mikael with further developing Gobetwino, go ahead, stress-test it in your computer and report the bugs to him.

Mikael Moerup is an artist and designer living and working in Copenhagen, Denmark. He was part of The Lab, a defunct media space in the center of the Danish capital, builds crazy music instruments, likes chocolate, and has the ability of finding cheap-but-cool LCDs with red backlight!

Here we go! Download Gobetwino directly here!

Going for a one night hack

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

If you have nothing better to do during a winter night in Sweden, you can always hack a couple of libraries together and make a third one. SDplayWAV is for people interested in playing sounds from SD cards. Builds upon previous work by Ladyada, Ronald Riegel, and Michael Smith.

I felt like shooting a movie out of tonight’s work. The camera wasn’t that good, but youtube video annotations made my night ;-)

Arduino’s IDE on Editra

Monday, October 6th, 2008

Alexander Olivares from the Cenditel Foundation in Venezuela sent us today an email about their latest development in Open Hardware; since their foundation is not supporting Java for different reasons, they have been putting some effort since our visit there and are quite happy to present their first version of their plugin of Arduino for Editra.

picture (c) 2008 by Alexander Olivares at the Cenditel Foundation, Venezuela

The way it has been implemented is as a plugin for the open source editor/compiler Editra, the current version supports:

  • Code compiler
  • Code upload to Arduino compatible boards
  • Serial monitor for Arduino
  • Spanish internationalization
  • Arduino preferences panel
  • Frame configuration

This of course presents lots of advantages for users running linux based operating systems with low processing power where Java is not really an option. From the Arduino Team we are happy to see this development and we would love to see it going further and eventually becoming a debian installation package what would make things even easier for many linux users out there.

The plugin has been made in Spanish, if there is anybody interested in contacting Alexander (aolivares AT SPAMFREE cenditel DOT and translating this into other languages, we will be more than happy to host the documentation on the Playground and the other wikis.

Arduino meets the XO Laptop

Thursday, December 27th, 2007

Brian Jepson posted some useful instructions on how to run Arduino on the XO laptop recently. He and Gian Vilamil have both commented on the XO as the ideal Arduino development platform due to its cost and relative simplicity.

LilyPad Arduino and Arduino 0010

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

LilyPad Arduino

We’re very happy to welcome the newest member of the Arduino platform: the LilyPad Arduino. The board was lovingly crafted by Leah Buechley and SparkFun electronics for use in wearable / e-textile projects. There’s also a whole range of accessories: power supply, sensors, LED and sound output, etc. It’s all available from the LilyPad section of SparkFun.

The boards can be sewn together with conductive thread or attached to conductive fabrics to create light-weight and flexible electronics clothing or other textiles – and all in a beautiful purple. The guide to the LilyPad has instructions for getting started with the board and Leah has some directions for using it in a project.

The LilyPad has actually been out for a couple of weeks, but today we released version 0010 of the Arduino software, which properly supports the board.

Mac OS X:
Linux version coming soon.

The most significant improvements (besides LilyPad support) are the stability and clean-up changes:

  • Universal distribution for Mac OS X
  • Support for Windows Vista
  • Improved error messages
  • Better auto-format
  • Support for ports COM10 and higher on Windows
  • Fixed automatic refresh of the Serial Port menu under Windows
  • New and improved keyboard shortcuts

Other new features include:

  • Printing
  • Support for more programmers (USBtinyISP, AVR ISP, AVRISP mkII, parallel programmers) for use in bootloader burning.
  • “Copy for Discourse” menu item that copies a sketch formatted for posting on the Arduino forums

As with the Arduino XBee Shield, we’re very pleased to be working with others to expand the available range of Arduino hardware. We’re thrilled at the results so far, and hope to continue these collaborations in the future. If you have any ideas, please email us – we’d love to work with you.

So be sure to check out the LilyPad and Arduino 0010 and congratulations to Leah and SparkFun for their wonderful work.

Update: Arduino 0010 for Linux is now available: arduino-0010-linux.tgz