RS Components is sponsoring internships with the ARM mbed team, based at ARM’s headquarters in Cambridge, UK, to develop mbed hardware and software reference designs that will be featured on DesignSpark, the online electronic design gateway powered by RS.
The first projects, a motor control platform and an RFID tag tracker using an mbed processor, are already complete and can be downloaded at www.designspark.com . Both are ready to use and can be adapted to suit specific project requirements.
The development process is presented on DesignSpark in a blog format including photos, diagrams, links and notes alongside the completed design and associated software libraries.
The Motor Control Reference Design demonstrates how to control motors using the RS-EDP-AM-MC1 motor control modules and provide feedback with quadrature encoders, and inertial sensors such as gyroscopes and accelerometers to perform dead reckoning. It allows feedback from sensors to be used for position control, orientation data to be logged, providing the capability for autonomous control.
The RFID tag tracker logs Mifare tag IDs on a remote MySQL server through Ethernet or GPRS, and can log events locally on an SD card. Both are based on the Cortex-M3 processor-based NXP LPC1768 MCU and are supported by relevant software drawn from the mbed libraries.
Chris Styles, Senior Application Engineer at ARM, added, “These two designs show how powerful and flexible the combination of mbed and EDP is. In both cases, the designers were able to use EDP hardware modules and software from the mbed library to reach a complete, working and verified design quickly. We have documented the process that they went through as well as the completed design on the mbed and DesignSpark websites.”
Mbed is a tool for rapid prototyping with microcontrollers.The mbed compiler lets enables programs to be written in C/C++, and then compile and download them to run on the mbed microcontroller.