Latest Freescale Wireless Robot Can Walk, Dance and Teach Sensor Programming

Freescale Semiconductor today announced significant enhancements to the Freescale Tower System mechatronics robot and board, a bipedal robot and development board that allows designers to write software for a variety of sensor applications while making a robot walk and respond to touch, motion, vibration, tilt and other external stimuli.

Freescale Semiconductor today announced significant enhancements to the Freescale Tower System mechatronics robot and board, a bipedal robot and development board that allows designers to write software for a variety of sensor applications while making a robot walk and respond to touch, motion, vibration, tilt and other external stimuli. With a powerful new programming language based on StickOS, new wireless capabilities and the addition of Freescale's Xtrinsic magnetometer for more accurate compass heading information, designers of all experience levels can quickly and easily learn how to employ sensors in innovative design projects across a variety of applications.


"Freescale's enhanced robot and development board prove you don't have to be an engineer or have extensive design experience to learn programming skills," said Kevin Anderle, field applications engineer manager at Freescale. "By exploring new ways to make the robot interact through balancing, dancing, or even programming it to walk through a maze, designers are acquiring valuable technical abilities that can be applied to sensor applications in a variety of markets, including consumer, industrial and medical."

The Freescale robot was first introduced in 2011 at the Freescale Technology Forum Americas and has since been used as a learning tool by a range of audiences, including advanced engineers developing sensor and robotic system designs and Boy Scouts pursuing robotics badges.

"In working with Freescale on the latest Tower System mechatronics robot, our goal was to create a tool that would enable casual users and consumers of technology to become creators and innovators," said Rich Testardi, director of engineering for StickOS and CPUStick.com. "With StickOS and tools like the Freescale robot, creating innovative projects with sensors becomes much easier. There's no 500-page manual or complicated programming language to learn. It opens the door for users of all experience levels to learn programming and sensors in a new, fun way."

Freescale's new Tower System mechatronics robot and Tower System mechatronics board come with four servos, a three-axis accelerometer, a 12-channel touch sensor and an Xtrinsic MAG3110 agnetometer, which works with the accelerometer to provide more accurate compass heading information to enable navigation functions. It is equipped with ready-to-use code that provides a programming starting point and features a new, integrated development environment with powerful language based on StickOS, an MCU-resident interactive programming environment using real-time BASIC language. StickOS is easy to learn and has a built-in editor for beginning programmers. The fully interactive interface also allows users to quickly change parameters based on instant sensor feedback and requires minimal software on the host PC. The upgraded robot also has wireless capabilities enabled by Freescale's MC13201 transceiver, which provides RF communication, improves speed and reliability, avoids interference and enables greater flexibility for devices to operate from greater distances.

About Freescale Tower System mechatronics

The Freescale Tower System mechatronics board enables simple application development for consumer and industrial applications. The board is powered by a 32-bit ColdFire microcontroller with 64K of RAM (News - Alert) and 512K of flash and is fully compatible with the full range of available Freescale Tower System boards and Xtrinsic sensors with plug-in daughter boards for extended capabilities. It also operates standalone with a three-axis accelerometer and 12-channel touch sensor. The robot can be programmed using real-time BASIC language in StickOS or C/C++ using the CodeWarrior IDE.

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