Monday, July 30, 2012

FEZ Spider Video Camera

Microsoft has created an embedded programming microcosm known as 'Gadgeteer'. Like other .net micro-format (MF) microcontrollers, they are programmed in C# and use the embedded master chip set (which provides a wide range of functionality for USB client and host, Ethernet and memory media). It is open source, and a range of companies are producing controllers and module accessories for Gadgeteer. The real gem of this system is the integrated development environment (IDE) that permits the user to graphically lay out their system that models the actual hardware, and then prompts for the code snippets that respond to events (like a pressed button or a timer interval) that executes a sequence of code. To get a handle on this, I ordered a getting started book by Simon Monk (listed below). I purchased the GHI Spider Kit, which is named for its resemblance to a large spider when multiple modules are connected to the processor. All elements are connected via ribbon cables that are identical, to specific ports on the microcontroller. In one evening, I hooked up a video camera, a color touch screen display, and an SD card to form a simple video capture system. This is a "gadget guy's" dream! I can't wait to give the Ethernet module a go and create a Web enabled sensor.

GHI Spider Kit [Link]

Getting Started with .Net Gadgeteer Book [Link]

Microsoft Gadgeteer Page [Link]

My other interests [Link]