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societyofrobots
07-03-2008, 09:37 AM
Matt has requested me to make this post . . .

I'd like to announce a product release of my new microcontroller, the Axon:
http://www.societyofrobots.com/axon

http://www.societyofrobots.com/axon/images/axon_photo.JPG

Just a quick rundown:
55 total I/O
16 ADC
4 UARTs
it can handle up to 13 amps
as low as 6V required
source code to work with the Blackfin Camera
bootloader
USB, power bus
64kb, 8kb
(see documentation (http://www.societyofrobots.com/axon/axon_datasheet.shtml) for more info)
I've been helping people build robots for years, and the accumulated knowledge has been very useful to make the Axon very intuitive and easy to use. Its designed for experts, but made easy enough for beginners to quickly learn it. For an example of it being used, check out my Experimental Robot Platform (http://www.societyofrobots.com/robot_ERP.shtml).

It will be available here for purchase at TRC (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/store/c/3150-Atmel.aspx) soon!


Other side comments about the forum . . .
Apparently 'Matt Trossen' cannot be used as the referrer to this site!
And that captcha was insanely hard . . . took me 6 tries . . . lol

Adrenalynn
07-03-2008, 09:43 AM
SoC - welcome to the TRC!

I call dibs! on one from the first batch to hit Trossen...

Great job exposing all that A/D goodness from the '640!

Droid Works
07-03-2008, 10:29 AM
Very nice! I want one :)

Alex
07-03-2008, 10:51 AM
yeah, sorry about the captcha being a pita. Spambots have finally broken the ReCAPTHCA algorithm, so we were getting an insane amount of spambots coming through and posting crap. I had to step the security up a few notches. Only problem with that, is now it makes it really hard for even legitimate posters to join. I haven't found the happy medium yet:(

Anyway, that's an awesome board! I can't wait to see it here:) I'll have to take a look at those links in a bit.

Adrenalynn
07-03-2008, 11:23 AM
Hey Alex -

You wanted to learn C on a microcontroller, right?

Check out the Axon source. A ton of Microcontroller C Goodness there. I just had a quick readthrough of the headers, and looked at some of the code that was interesting. Well worth your looking at.

http://www.societyofrobots.com/axon/downloads/Axon_Source_062008.zip

Droid Works
07-03-2008, 11:56 AM
Hey Alex -

You wanted to learn C on a microcontroller, right?

Check out the Axon source. A ton of Microcontroller C Goodness there. I just had a quick readthrough of the headers, and looked at some of the code that was interesting. Well worth your looking at.

http://www.societyofrobots.com/axon/downloads/Axon_Source_062008.zip

Thanks for the info, Slowly but surly getting there:)

Adrenalynn
07-03-2008, 12:14 PM
That's right - you wanted to too.

This might be a good platform for both of you. 90% of the hard work and 45% of the easier work is done, and learnable-fromable. ;) There's some pretty spiffy stuff there too, like the USB interface.

Alex
07-03-2008, 12:17 PM
I'll definitely have to take a look at all this! Thanks Adrenalynn:D

EDIT: Whoa! I didnt' even catch the USB Interface - it's all snazzy orange looking (I think... I'm color blind, but I know it's not silver!).

Adrenalynn
07-03-2008, 01:11 PM
Yup! It does have an orange plate on top of the USB from the photos, here's a closeup from the "getting started"

http://www.societyofrobots.com/axon/images/axon_usb.JPG

Those UARTs are rare and very cool. Hook up a GPS, a Compass, and still be able to do bidirectional wireless communication with a PC. Use the 640 to pre-process the analog, GPS, and compass, and send small packets back to the PC over wireless for tougher AI problems. This is *exactly* what I was talking about in the "thinking robots" thread. The offboard processor farm makes the hard decisions from predigested onboard sensor data...

The 640 is ideally suited to being an embedded pre-processor. It's RISC (generally single clock per instruction), probably clocking 16Mhz, has I2C and SPI, 6 timers and 18 interrupts - so it's inherently "realtime" if you're at least a little cautious with how you optimize your code...

It's not magic, the 64 and the larger 128 and 256 have been out there a long time. The coolest thing is that all the "glue" is in place to make it work effectively right out of the box.

societyofrobots
07-03-2008, 01:58 PM
Oh I forgot to mention . . . I'm in the process of writing more source to handle all the common robot sensors/electronics for you (sonar, sharp IR, GPS, motor drivers, encoders, etc). I'm also writing code to make it a DAQ, and also a servo controller - both by USB.

My Blackfin Camera source code is near release. I just need to clean it up and make it easier to use.

Adrenalynn
07-03-2008, 03:45 PM
Ordered. :)

societyofrobots
07-05-2008, 11:21 AM
A new update . . .

I just released a new software version that now has a sensor library. It can now convert data from various sensors to real world measurements - for example sharp IR ADC value to centimeters, also a Phidget interface library, and even the MaxSonar . . . more to come . . .

I also released a rough draft version of my Blackfin Camera interface source code.

Alex
07-07-2008, 09:40 AM
I'm stoked to see the Axon working with the Phidget sensors:D

16 analog inputs??? That's gonna be great!

societyofrobots
07-07-2008, 10:04 AM
My long term plan is to have built in libraries for *all* sensors, motor drivers, and other robot electronics on the market. I'm taking requests (within reason!).

A new update: I wrote software to convert the Axon into a DAQ (data acquisition).
http://www.societyofrobots.com/axon/axon_function_list.shtml#software

Adrenalynn
07-07-2008, 10:55 AM
Great stuff, SoR!

One thing of note: Friends don't let friends use Hyperterm. No, really. It stinks on ice.

Teraterm is opensourced and roxxors all over hyperterm: http://hp.vector.co.jp/authors/VA002416/teraterm.html

societyofrobots
07-07-2008, 11:00 AM
Yea everyone says that . . .

But Teraterm has many limitations too, such as on com ports. HT has always won the day for me =)

Adrenalynn
07-07-2008, 11:04 AM
The latest release I have supports the highest com-port numbers I've seen - 32 ?

Ok - to each their own - spice of life and all that. :)

Adrenalynn
07-07-2008, 01:56 PM
Sorry - don't mean to dump in your thread, and I'll stop with this post, but have you checked-out realterm, btw?

I was looking to see whatever happened to my favoritest terminal emulator ever (I still have a DOS box running Procomm for that reason) - Symantec dropped it in 1999 - anyway, I stumbled upon realterm. Open source with some fantastic features for talking to embedded controllers (which, like yourself, I do _constantly_). Good support for one and two wire, SPI, I2C, full binary capture, color-coded RX/TX, snooping other apps comms, ... Looks pretty outstanding. http://realterm.sourceforge.net/

I may be replacing Teraterm on my home and work lab machines...

societyofrobots
07-19-2008, 12:07 AM
A new update. For those who use Google Sketchup, a CAD of the Axon is now available:
http://www.societyofrobots.com/axon/axon_datasheet.shtml
(see bottom of that page)

adrenalynn, I'll look into realterm, sounds interesting!

LinuxGuy
07-19-2008, 01:43 AM
A new update. For those who use Google Sketchup, a CAD of the Axon is now available:
http://www.societyofrobots.com/axon/axon_datasheet.shtml
(see bottom of that page)
That, is a sweet little board you've cooked up. :) I think this is just what I've been looking for as a companion to Hammer (http://www.elinux.org/Hammer_Board). I'd like to see Hammer (http://www.elinux.org/Hammer_Board) using one of these as a USB peripheral.

8-Dale

Adrenalynn
07-19-2008, 01:47 AM
I have it! Once it dries out, I'll get a chance to play with your handiwork...

Thanks!

4mem8
07-19-2008, 04:11 AM
I'm in for one when they arrive please. They look awesome.

Adrenalynn
07-19-2008, 11:24 AM
You can order one direct. Mine shipped/arrived really fast. My postal carrier on the other hand, appears to be rather... "slow".

societyofrobots
07-19-2008, 11:52 AM
I just spoke with Matt recently, and he is having delays with adding new products. Probably another month before you will see the Axon on TR.

You can always order direct from me:
http://www.societyofrobots.com/axon/#purchase

(but because I'm not a major retailer, I only ship out every Monday)

John

Adrenalynn
07-19-2008, 11:57 AM
Nod. I'm a gihugic Trossen Fan. I suggested ordering direct because I heard it was going to be awhile before they were in the catalog here - and I didn't want to wait.

BTW, John, even for the abuse of being tossed in the bushes for almost two weeks and watered twice a day, then baked for 10hrs a day in 100+ degF temps - the Axon comes up and runs its preloaded code just fine. I haven't gone further than that with it yet. Thanks for your patience last night!

societyofrobots
07-19-2008, 06:16 PM
lol Adrenalynn I think I'm gonna quote you on that in the future =P

societyofrobots
10-14-2008, 05:27 AM
For those not aware, Trossen is now selling the Axon:
http://www.trossenrobotics.com/p/axon-microntroller.aspx

I'm still working on the servo controller code, but I now have a tutorial for using a Playstation Controller with the Axon:
http://www.societyofrobots.com/member_tutorials/node/200

I put up an examples page here:
http://www.societyofrobots.com/axon/axon_examples.shtml

Adrenalynn
10-14-2008, 12:06 PM
Awesome on the playstation controller support! I need to check your site more often, John - great stuff!

Enusi Malik
10-15-2008, 01:13 PM
Intriguing, the product looks to be very sound, something anybody can use regardless of experience, allowing hobbyists to hit the next level. Big fan of plug and play feature. Can't wait for it to hit TRC.:D

Adrenalynn
10-15-2008, 02:08 PM
It's in the TR store now, has been for a few days: http://www.trossenrobotics.com/p/axon-microntroller.aspx

I've had mine for a few months, use it to death, primarily with my own software. It's great for prototyping before moving code off to a lighter/less expensive dedicated setup, and then recycling the Axon to the next project.

I tend to use it more than the Arduino because I can be lazy when prototyping, wasting code and data space like mad, using extra coms and pins for debugging, etc. Then tighten it up and move to a smaller processor when the time comes.

Enusi Malik
10-15-2008, 03:26 PM
It's in the TR store now, has been for a few days: http://www.trossenrobotics.com/p/axon-microntroller.aspx

I've had mine for a few months, use it to death, primarily with my own software. It's great for prototyping before moving code off to a lighter/less expensive dedicated setup, and then recycling the Axon to the next project.

I tend to use it more than the Arduino because I can be lazy when prototyping, wasting code and data space like mad, using extra coms and pins for debugging, etc. Then tighten it up and move to a smaller processor when the time comes.

oh ok thanks, well looks like i'll be getting one then. Sounds like you had alot of luck with it as well all the more reason to get it

societyofrobots
11-08-2008, 12:02 AM
Good news and bad news. Good news is that the Axon is selling about 4x faster than I planned. Bad news is that I'm manufacturing them about 4x slower than planned. For example, I bought out all the ATmega640's that Atmel had and it took them 2.5 months to make more.

As a result I'm falling behind on shipments, and Trossen will be out of stock before I can ship more.

If you buy from Trossen but they say out of stock, huge apologies! I'm pushing production as fast as I can!

Oh, and two more robots customers have made with the Axon:
http://www.societyofrobots.com/robotforum/index.php?topic=5708.0
http://www.societyofrobots.com/robotforum/index.php?topic=5720.0

4mem8
11-08-2008, 12:24 AM
Very nice robots, That Axon sure looks good.

Adrenalynn
11-08-2008, 11:21 AM
Congrats on your success!

Between Digikey and Mouser alone another ~575 are available to ship today. 670 more from Mouser in 1.5mo. I was able to find another 1500 units available today from the usual suspects, average unnegotiated pricing of $7.80/unit in 100 unit quantity. I imagine that would probably fill your orders until Atmel's six week lead was filled, no?

societyofrobots
11-08-2008, 11:37 AM
The full story . . .

Well, actually I put in my order for the ATmega640 ~4 months ago. At that time the world supply, adding up all distributors supplies, was about ~360 units. I needed much more . . . The order finally arrived 3 months later at my PCB assembler in Canada around October 6th. I was just notified that the semi-completed (only surface mount parts finished) boards arrived at my shipping center in Louisiana yesterday, November 8th.

However I'm now on a 6 month vacation in Bangkok, Thailand . . . so I'm having everything shipped to me asap so I can finish assembly (through hole parts), testing, and uploading the bootloader. Then I ship back to Louisiana and from there to the customer.

Yeap, its complicated! But I think I can have the new orders out before Christmas . . . knock on HDPE . . .

societyofrobots
11-26-2008, 03:38 AM
I swear I'm cursed . . . after all these delays, I never thought a violent group of protesters in Thailand would halt my Axon production . . . http://www.societyofrobots.com/robotforum/index.php?topic=5764.msg45174#msg45174 I *think* I can still make shipments before Christmas . . . I'll keep this thread updated.

Adrenalynn
11-26-2008, 04:05 AM
Maybe chat with Futurlec? They still seem to be getting orders out as normal. I've received several from them over the last couple weeks, one today.

societyofrobots
11-26-2008, 04:15 AM
Adrenalynn, I believe you misread my last two posts =P

Adrenalynn
11-26-2008, 04:47 AM
Entirely possible... I was just thinking that since Futurlec are in Thailand and are/have been still getting product in and out, maybe they have some end-around that you don't know about yet, and maybe there's partner-opportunities.

societyofrobots
11-26-2008, 04:51 AM
Ok thats what you meant.

This Thai incident just happened about 24 hours ago. I'm sure Futurlec has the same problem. I'm optimistic though.

robot maker
12-09-2008, 09:56 PM
Adreralynn said that axon microcontroller board will be great for my hand control for my beer-bot,cant wait to order it,(need 2) but since i just started to learn programming will hard to write and make a dll as she stated,so i asked Steven from roborealm and he said it will take awhile,i have alot of time since i have 2 other robot working on and 1 near finished,will wait till module is made before i buy the boards,also will be a great add-on to roborealm because can control alot of servo,s and 16 A-D inputs for sensors,with ths board plus interface can make a great board for any robot design
SOC made a very good board

societyofrobots
12-09-2008, 10:20 PM
I am working with STeven on integrating the Axon with RoboRealm, but yes he is right, it will probably take a month or two. I'm still working on code to make the Axon a servo controller, but ran into strange compiler bugs so haven't gotten back to it lately.

In the mean time I recently came out with a new Axon code upgrade. It includes support for the Ping sonar, the Sabertooth motor controller, and easy to use PWM functions. Lots of other minor improvements too.

As for the issue with Thailand . . . protests have stopped and shipping has resumed, and my parts have entered customs days ago. But still no word on where it is. 5 day package on day number 17. As such I will not be able to make shipments before Christmas, and have moved it to around first week of January. Only so much that I can do!

4mem8
12-09-2008, 11:43 PM
That is so frustrating for you, you must have a lot of patience.

societyofrobots
01-12-2009, 09:49 PM
I *finally* managed to ship a box load of Axons to TSR. TSR will get the box by the end of this week, meaning for those who ordered will see it in your mail boxes probably within ~10 days.

Huge apologies for the ~2 month delay!!!

That being said, now that I'm finally caught back up, back to writing more software features for the Axon . . .

Speaking of which, Axon code for the AVRcam:
http://www.laughingsky.com/hobbies/robotics/pages/axon_modules/avrcam/index.html

And Axon code to work with the uMP3:
http://www.societyofrobots.com/robotforum/index.php?topic=5497.msg47530#msg47530

societyofrobots
01-31-2009, 11:23 AM
A few updates . . .

I put together a YouTube playlist of the many robots people built using the Axon:
http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=BABBEA23AECDA9A5&playnext=1

Recently released a new source code version. It adds additional PWM features and squishes a few bugs:
http://www.societyofrobots.com/axon/axon_function_list.shtml

And a new SourceForge page has been setup:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/axonavr/

societyofrobots
02-06-2009, 04:36 AM
For those who own an Axon, you now own a 16 channel USB oscilloscope.

Yeap, the SoR Scope is a new software program designed to convert your microcontroller into a free oscilloscope. Who wants to spend hundreds or thousands on a clunky oscilloscope anyway? With the Axon its just plug-n-play, no programming required.

http://www.societyofrobots.com/sor_scope.shtml

http://www.societyofrobots.com/images2/sor_scope_screen.png

societyofrobots
02-19-2009, 04:17 AM
The Axon now works with RoboRealm, and now has servo controller software. Just upload the .hex to the Axon, load up the RoboRealm Axon module on your PC, and you're done!

http://www.roborealm.com/help/SOR_Axon.php


http://www.roborealm.com/help/SOR_Axon.gif

Adrenalynn
02-19-2009, 01:23 PM
That's just tooo cool!

Will you and he be adding variables to get at the other pins (esp. the A/D)?

societyofrobots
02-19-2009, 07:07 PM
Will you and he be adding variables to get at the other pins (esp. the A/D)?
In the short term no, but eventually yes. We figured the demand wasn't high enough for it yet. Chances are if someone used roborealm, they'd be mostly just using a camera anyway. =P

societyofrobots
03-01-2009, 11:21 AM
A quick demo on making your robot remote controlled / teleoperated from your PC using the Axon and bluetooth. Basically I push buttons on my laptop, and the robot does stuff.

YouTube - Axon Bluetooth Tutorial

societyofrobots
03-15-2009, 09:54 PM
The Axon now comes with code and instructions for using the CMUcam.
http://www.societyofrobots.com/member_tutorials/node/321

YouTube - CMUcam Color Tracking Demo

societyofrobots
05-01-2009, 01:03 PM
Axon is now on sale with ~$25 off the original price.

As always you can buy it direct:
http://www.societyofrobots.com/axon

or from TR:
http://www.trossenrobotics.com/p/axon-microntroller.aspx

societyofrobots
10-14-2009, 08:18 PM
The Axon now sells for $94. You know, for Christmas and all :tongue:

Plenty new examples have been added:
http://www.societyofrobots.com/axon/axon_examples.shtml

It is now fully supported by, and fully supports, WebbotLib:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/webbotavrclib/
(its like AVRlib, but much better)

societyofrobots
11-14-2009, 07:23 PM
A few projects I've worked on with the Axon. The first video is how to use the Axon to calibrate a gyro, the second is me testing servo performance, and the last is a waterproof switch for the Axon.

YouTube- Gyro Calibration with Axon Microcontroller

YouTube- Servo Testing with Axon Microcontroller

YouTube- Waterproof Switch for Axon Microcontroller

societyofrobots
11-21-2009, 08:18 AM
A hexapod doing IK using the Axon.

YouTube- Pumpkin Dance: Introducing the Creeper 2


Designed, built and programmed in about record 3 weeks! It runs C on an Axon microcontroller. It uses all digital servos and can lift over twice its body weight. The software (soon to be given out open source) allows for 6 synchronous degrees of motion. Future additions will include foot sensors and a remote control option.

societyofrobots
02-02-2010, 06:54 AM
As the original Axon and Axon II microcontrollers are 99% compatible, I'll continue all further updates of Axon software/features/examples in the Axon II thread.

http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/showthread.php?t=3710

societyofrobots
06-08-2010, 11:23 AM
New SoR robot contest - winners get free refund or $100 on their Axon or Axon II.

Create a video that features the Axon in some way, upload to youtube, and submit to win.

http://www.societyofrobots.com/axon_video_contest.shtml

(fyi - if you purchased the Axon from Trossen, I can only refund at current pricing and can't refund shipping)

societyofrobots
07-18-2010, 11:01 PM
A transforming robot using the Axon:

YouTube- Self-Transforming Mobile Robot

darkback2
07-19-2010, 02:59 AM
Cool robot. I like how low it keeps it's center of gravity when it is in rolling mode. I would like to see more video of it walking, and can it walk as a biped also?

DB