Tag Archives: Atmel

This robot makes PB&J sandwiches just like mom


Hey bot, make me a sandwich! 


Ever since it made its debut at Y Combinator’s Demo Day back in August, we’ve been keeping a close eye on Bistrobot— a sandwich-making robot.

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With hopes of one day expanding into more stores and dining establishments, the Bistrobot was recently installed at Andi’s Market right here in San Francisco. The automated machine crafts peanut butter sandwiches on white bread with your choice of honey, blackberry jam, sweet chili or chocolate sauce. Earlier demonstrations have even included Nutella.

“It’s already much faster than traditional methods, and we’re working to make it cleaner and more consistent,” founder and CEO Jay Reppert recently told us. “For me personally, the coolest part about Bistrobot, and why I’m working on it, is because I think robots are awesome and this is a way for more people to share in something really cool without having to spend a lot of money,”

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How it works is pretty straightforward. For just $2, a customer places an order on a tablet kiosk and then watches through its transparent plexiglass enclosure as the robot creates their sandwich.

And we agree, PB&J is the most simple sandwich around, but when a robot is the chef, things get a bit more interesting. The Bistrobot team notes that it’s easy to change around the menu, making the device even more versatile and appealing to commercial users. Impressively, the robot can produce 300 sandwiches an hour — that equates to five per minute.

While Bistrobot may still be in its infancy, we definitely look forward to seeing what the future holds. Until then, you can watch it in action below! (You may also want to check out fellow Y Combinator grad TeaBOT, which as its name would imply, is an automatic tea-brewing machine.)

A first look at Maker Faire Rome 2015


As the saying goes, “When in Rome, do as the Makers do!” 


It seems like yesterday that we were at the New York Hall of Science preparing for what was surely an incredible World Maker Faire 2015. And now just a few weeks later, the Atmel crew has arrived in Rome, all set to kick things off at the Sapienza University campus.

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Once again a Silver Sponsor of this year’s show, you’ll find several startups and Makers who’ve successfully demonstrated what it takes to go from “the MakerSpace to the MarketPlace.” In addition to big names like Bosch, those inside the Atmel booth will include:

Acme Systems

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Acme Systems designs and manufactures Linux-embedded boards, namely the Arietta G25 system-on-module with an Atmel AT91SAM9G25 at its core. One project in particular that you’ll want to check out is the team’s open source LED panel that interacts with a smartphone over Wi-Fi.

Arduboy

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A crowd favorite back at World Maker Faire, Arduboy is an open source, credit card-sized console that lets people play, create and share their favorite 8-bit games.

Intoino

Intoi

As seen on Indiegogo, Intoino‘s KITS provide a simple way for young Makers to learn coding and electronics while bringing their connected projects to life.

1Sheeld

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In case you missed them at Maker Faire Bay Area 20151Sheeld magically transforms your smartphone into one of 40 different reconfigurable Arduino shields.

Cosino

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Cosino is an open source platform comprised of flexible, easy to-use hardware and software components. The team will be showing off their latest projects based on the Cosino (SAM9G35) and Cosino Enigma (SAMA5D3) CPU modules along with their carrier boards and other GNU/Linux embedded systems.

Qtechknow

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Everyone’s favorite teenage CEO and whiz kid, Quin Etynre will once again be on hand with Qtechknow’s Arduino-compatible board, the Qduino Mini. But that’s not all, you’ll even be able to snap a black and white selfie in his thermal printer photo booth!

Bosch

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Heck, even major brands are tapping into the powers of the Maker Movement! Escaping dangerous dark or smoke-filled structures quickly is crucial for the firefighters who save thousands of lives on a daily basis. Tailored for those situations, Bosch will be demonstrating a prototype of their indoor navigation device that’s built around the mighty Arduino and BNO055.

Atmel implements Intel EPID technology on all SmartConnect wireless solutions


Atmel is collaborating with Intel on EPID technology to enable more secure IoT applications.


Atmel is working with Intel to bring more secure Internet of Things applications to market. In this collaboration, Atmel will support Intel Enhanced Privacy ID (Intel EPID) technology on all Atmel SmartConnect wireless solutions to improve secure cloud provisioning — the mutual authentication of the IoT node with the cloud — in the rapidly growing IoT market where devices are becoming increasingly more connected.

Smart

With tens of billions of devices anticipated by 2020, security is surely one of the most critical components to enabling a seamless connection between the edge node and the cloud. To accomplish this, Atmel offers a complete portfolio of IoT solutions that combine both Atmel | SMART MCUs along with SmartConnect wireless technologies ranging from Wi-Fi, 802.15.4 and Bluetooth, and other secure products. This newly-announced effort will give developers implementing these wireless solutions the option to use the trusted Intel EPID identification standard in their next gizmo or gadget.

“Implementing Intel EPID offers IoT designers a truly seamless edge-to-cloud Internet of Things platform with proven security options available with our broad Internet of Things portfolio,” said Kaivan Karimi, Atmel’s Vice President and General Manager of Wireless Solutions. “With this new technology, Atmel’s SmartConnect wireless and IoT solutions now support Intel EPID, a security technology that has been proven over the last 5 years.”

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For those who may not know, Intel EPID is an ISO standard for identity and privacy that has been shipping in Intel platforms since 2011. The technology delivers a hardware root of trust and is PKI compatible. With Intel EPID, devices can be identified and a secure communication can be linked between these devices. Additionally, the group membership can be determined without revealing the identity of the specific platform allowing for another level of security. Intel EPID can dynamically assign and revoke group memberships by individuals. Even more, this technology meets the latest protected key delivery requirements for content and data protection protocols.

“With the rapidly growing IoT ecosystem, security is key, and Intel EPID is a proven secure technology that can provide the billions of devices in this new market with a common security foundation. By implementing Intel EPID technology, Atmel is enabling a more secure, seamless IoT platform,” explained Lori Wigle, Intel’s General Manager of IoT Security.

Billions of chips, unlimited possibilities


Vegard Wollan reveals that there are now more AVR chips in the wild as there are people in the world. (Note: A loose translation from Adressa’s recent article.)


Though the slogan “Enabling Unlimited Possibilities” may not be the most modest as they come, why should it have to be? Especially when your company, whose heritage has ties to Trondheim, is at the forefront of the incredibly popular and ever-evolving IoT innovation battle.

Vegard

Vegard Wollan, AVR co-founder and VP of Atmel’s Touch Business Unit, had the chance to catch up with local Trondheim newspaper Adressa to discuss some of his team’s latest developments. One in particular, the maXTouch family of touchscreen controllers provides unprecedented hover and proximity capabilities, where a user no longer is required to touch the display, but instead triggers different functions by simply holding their finger right above it.

Just the other night, several Atmel employees in Trondheim came together to celebrate not only their commitment to the local community but an impressive milestone, namely 7,338,088,583 AVR chips. To put that figure into perspective, that is at least one MCU for each person on Earth.

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“It’s insane! We have the increasing ability to top what we’ve done previously,” Wollan says. “We have been doing this for 20 years and have never had such high production as we do now. In 1999, we thought it was giant milestone to pass 10 million. Now, we have produced 7.3 billion and create about one billion units a year.”

The figure is almost as impressive as the customer list of “little” Atmel Norway, and its tight-knit team of just under 200 employees. Wollan highlights a few of the top tier brands powered by the stalwart microcontrollers, which include some of the largest and most recognizable names out there today. Among those are Google, Microsoft, Bosch, Sony, Samsung, LG, General Motors, Ford, Jaguar and Tesla.

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“And this is just an excerpt. When we started the company in 1995, we dreamed about getting some big customers such as LG or Sony or Mercedes or what not. And now we have this list! So it’s really what we are celebrating and we are madly proud of,” Wollan adds.

Another focus as of late has been on China, and the next generation of gizmos and gadgets coming out the country where Atmel has played an integral role in their development, most notably ZTE and Xiaomi. While both of these manufacturers may not be the most globally known brands (yet), they have contributed millions of smartphones to the consumer market — many of which based on Atmel solutions.

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“Our customers in China have now launching new phones with new technology from us. We have developed a whole new edge-free design for smartphones, so you get the larger screen without the phone being bigger. The screen goes absolutely to the edge with virtual edge buttons without the buttons here. You hold such phone as a camera and phone camera turns on. And pressing your index finger on the top right hand side on, and you take a picture,” Wollan explains.

One of the coolest projects worth mentioning is a recent collaboration with global music sensation, Coldplay, who commissioned the help of the Trondheim team. Wollan goes on to laughingly reveal, “It’s a little funny that one of our engineers have been in the practice room with Coldplay to test our technology.”

Through wireless connectivity, Coldplay has been able to transform its sold-out crowds into brilliant canvas of colorful LEDs, all while providing greater engagement amongst its fans. As concertgoers enter the arena, they are given a flashing bracelet that can be remotely controlled from any PC and pulse to the rhythm of the band’s music.

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“You had to see the whole place light up in flashing, multi-colored bracelets. When we saw it from the stage, we could not believe we had managed to achieve this. It is about everyone, not just about the band and the fanatical folks at the stage, but all of us become part of the show by having a small armband.”

Wollan shares that Atmel is continuing to develop its initiative with Coldplay, but cannot go into more detail at this time. During the celebration of the company’s achievement the other night, employees were even given a chance to experience the wireless wearable devices as they waved their arms to the beat of some tunes.

Intrigued? You can tune-in to the entire segment here!

Creating realtime IoT dashboards and maps with PubNub


EON is an open source JavaScript framework for creating beautiful realtime dashboards, charts and maps.


The realtime publishing and streaming of data is a key component of the Internet of Things, especially when it comes to tracking and monitoring connected devices. We need a way to easily collect, detect, and distribute data as it’s created or changes, and immediately have it be received and acted upon.

There are several great frameworks for bringing data to life: D3.js, C3.js, WebGL, the list goes on. However, the missing component is how to deliver and reflect changes in that data in realtime, a vital requirement of the ever-growing IoT. Whether you’re streaming sensor data to a dashboard, monitoring device(s) health, or tracking a fleet of vehicles on a live-updating map, delivering the data in realtime is essential.

With this in mind, PubNub wanted an easier way to stream data to create beautiful IoT dashboards, charts, and maps. And so, the team built Project EON, an open source Javascript framework. EON not only enables you to build these dashboards and maps, but stream the raw JSON data to them as well.

iot maps and geolocation

Let’s check out the details! Then we’ll show you EON in action, using an Atmel MCU (because what’s better than connecting hardware and software?).

Realtime Charts and Dashboards for Connected Devices

The charting and graphing component of EON is based on C3.js, an open source charting library. This allows you to build realtime line, bar, pie, gauge, and donut charts. When new data is streamed, transitions are animated and changes are reflected in realtime — no manual refreshing required!

These charts are especially useful when it comes to monitoring and displaying data from Internet of Things connected devices, and gives you flexibility on how you want to display that data.

EON bar, pie, and gauge charts

EON bar, pie, and gauge charts

IoT use cases include:

  • Home automation: Temperature readings, power usage and consumption for individual devices
  • Connected car: RPMs, state of fleet of vehicles, analytics on vehicles including gas usage, capacity, or money earned, vehicle telemetry
  • Industrial and factory: Oil field sensor readings, brewery analytics (eg. pressure, capacity), factory statistics

Mapping for Connected Vehicles and Wearables

Realtime maps are a staple of any connected transportation application. For applications on the move, you need a way to track movement and current location.

The mapping and geolocation component of EON is based on Mapbox, a series of APIs and tools for building custom maps. Give EON a marker icon (bus, train, plane, person), and a geolocation. When the geolocation is updated, the market animates and travels to the new location.

EON maps for bus systems, aircrafts, and wearables

EON maps for bus systems, aircrafts, and wearables

IoT use cases for live-updating maps include:

  • Connected car, fleet management and public transportation: navigation, taxi/rideshare dispatch based on proximity, collect and publish road conditions, hailing and fare calculation for car services, monitor and calculate route and arrival times for public transit
  • Wearables: navigation and tracking, fitness applications
  • Air and sea: track and monitor location of aircraft and sea craft for consumer travel, freight, and delivery.

In Action: Atmel MCU Realtime Temperature Sensor

So let’s see EON and the Internet of Things working together!

Our demo application is a realtime temperature sensor built using an Atmel | SMART SAM D21 Xplained Pro and a temperature sensor. The concept is fairly simple, we collect the data using the Atmel sensor, and stream it in realtime to a live dashboard, where the temperature data is displayed as it changes.

That streaming and visualization is EON at work. And with some CSS added on, we have something that looks like this:

xplained_pro_demo_gif

Just think, this is just a simple demonstration. Imagine having hundreds or even thousands of these sensors spread across a region, all collecting and streaming that data to a single dashboard. Or even a single sensor streaming to hundreds of dashboards, all simultaneously.

The use cases are endless, and it really comes down to collecting data, streaming data, and visualizing that data. And that’s where EON does the work.

To learn more about the Atmel Realtime Temperature Sensor demo, check out our full tutorial and code repository, or watch the video below.

Building a realtime temperature sensor with Atmel and PubNub


PubNub’s Bhavana Srinivas demonstrates how to build a realtime temperature sensor with PubNub and Atmel.


With the buzzword being Internet of Things (IoT), PubNub recently wanted to build something simple, yet powerful, that could extend beyond the hackerspace and be applied to the real world. It had to combine software and hardware, and allow people at home to build it and try it themselves.

Arduino came to mind, but seeing as though the team has already written a great deal of realtime tutorials using the Arduino board, they sought out to try something a bit different. Instead, the group decided upon employing Atmel | SMART SAM D21 Xplained Pro and PubNub to devise a realtime temperature sensor.

Project Overview

The Atmel temperature sensor monitors temperatures and streams the data to a live-updating dashboard, in realtime, anywhere in the world. The temperature sensor measures the ambient temperature and publishes it as a data stream to a channel via the PubNub Data Stream Network. A web browser that subscribes to this channel displays the data stream on a live visualization dashboard.

The Concept

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  • The Atmel I/O1 Xplained Pro sensor measures the ambient temperature.
  • This connects to the Wi-Fi using the ATWINC1500 module.
  • The PubNub code running on the Atmel chip enabled the team to publish the temperature in realtime to anyone subscribing to the same channel as a data stream.
  • Through the PubNub Developer Console, you can receive this stream of information from as many sensors as you like in realtime.

What Will You Need?

Hardware

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Software

  • Windows PC
  • To get your unique pub/sub keys, you’ll first need to sign up for a PubNub account. Once you sign up, you can get your unique PubNub keys in the PubNub Developer Dashboard. PubNub’s free Sandbox tier should give you all the bandwidth you need to build and test your messaging app with the web messaging API.
  • Install Atmel Studio 6.2
  • Install updates to Atmel Studio as suggested during installation
  • Install terminal software like putty or teraterm

A prerequisite is that you upgrade the firmware for SAMD21 using the .bat file provided with the PubNub Atmel example before you run this demo. Make sure no other software like putty or teraterm is using the com port). Close Atmel Studio and the putty terminal. The firmware upgrade is successful if you see a PASS sign on the terminal after running the code.

Connecting the Hardware, the Right Way

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  • Connect WINC1500 XPRO board to SAMD21 XPRO connector EXT1
  • Connect I/O1 XPRO board to SAMD21 XPRO connector EXT2
  • Connect OLED1 XPRO board to SAMD21 XPRO connector EXT3
  • Connect SAMD21 XPRO to a free USB port on your PC (make sure no other USB port on your PC is in use)
  • Connect the power to the port that says “DEBUG USB”

The Software

Open the PubNub example: pubnubAtmel/PubNub_EXAMPLE.atsln (included in the code download) in Atmel Studio and you will see the following page. Make sure you choose the debugger/programmer and interface as shown below.

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Include the following lines in pubnubAtmel/src/main.h:

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#define TEST_MODE_SSID “Enter-your-SSID” (choose THE Wi-Fi access point you want the chip to connect to)
#define TEST_MODE_PASSWORD “Enter-the password-for-the-SSID” (enter the password for the same Wi-Fi connection)
#define TEST_MODE_WITHOUT_PROVISION

In pubnubAtmel/src/main.c, add the channel name and pub, sub keys.

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Build (F7 / Build -> build solution), run(continue/ green arrow/ F5/ debug -> continue).

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Open PubNub Developer Console, use the same channel name and pub,sub keys as in the code and SUBSCRIBE.If all is well, you should see a constant stream of messages in the following format: {“columns”:[[“temperature”,”55.00″]]}

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From there, the PubNub crew was able to collect and stream temperature data in realtime. But what’s next, you ask? Well, they needed to do something with that data, right? Visualize it!

Visualizing the Data Stream

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Bhavana and the PubNub bunch didn’t just want to display raw data off the sensor as a live-updating number; instead, their partner-in-crime Tomomi built the beautiful temperature visualization, which mocks nursery or greenhouse monitor (a typical realworld use case for realtime temperature sensors).

The interface runs in the browser, and the technology behind is quite simple, using PubNub JavaScript APIs to subscribe the data sent from the Atmel chip. It’s simple, lightweight, built entirely in JavaScript, and accessible from anywhere in the world with any kind of device – mobile phones, tablets, and any smart device, as long as you have a web browser. The main purpose behind this is to present information in most efficient manner without losing its accuracy.

In this scenario, the UI shows the current temperature, also a simple line graph, updating in realtime so that you can tell the relative changes of the temperature, raising and dropping. This particular data is simple, but when you have multiple, more complicated data, data visualization plays more crucial role.

Go Conquer IoT

This demo is read-only and reads the ambient temperature, but in reality, you want to develop products that lets your users monitor and control, i.e, bidirectional communication between devices. For instance, if you have a smart A/C, not only monitoring the current room temperature, but you need to make it controllable from a remote devices.

“With the power of PubNub APIs, you can achieve this with no hassle. I hope I am leaving you guys with enough excitement to try this demo out, and also build cooler ones,” Bhavana concludes.

In the meantime, be sure to follow our friends at PubNub and Bhavana Srinivas on Twitter!

The CryptoCape is the BeagleBone’s first dedicated security daughterboard


The CryptoCape extends the hardware cryptographic abilities of the BeagleBone Black.


With the insecurity of connected devices called into question time and time again, wouldn’t it be nice to take comfort in knowing that your latest IoT gadget was secure? A facet in which many Makers may overlook, Josh Datko recently sought out to find a better way to safeguard those designs, all without hindering the DIY spirit. The result? The CrytpoCape — which initially debuted on SparkFun last year — is a dedicated security daughterboard for the BeagleBone that easily adds encryption and authentication options to a project.

Generally speaking, cryptography offers a solution to a wide-range of problems such as authentication, confidentiality, integrity and non-repudiation, according to Datko. SparkFun notes that the $60 Atmel powered cape adds specialized ICs that perform various cryptographic operations, amplifying a critical hardware security layer to various BeagleBone projects.

The CyrptoCape is packed with hardware, including 256k EEPROM with a defaulted I2C address (plus write protection), a real-time clock (RTC) module, a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) for RSA encryption/decryption, an AES-128 encrypted EEPROM, an ATSHA204 CrypoAuthentication chip that performs SHA-256 and HMAC-25 and an Atmel ATECC108 tasked with the Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA).

“You will also find an Atmel ATmega328P microcontroller and a large prototyping area available on the board. The ATmega is loaded with the Arduino Pro Mini 3.3V bootloader and has broken out most of the signals to surrounding pads,” its SparkFun page reveals.

Beyond that, each easy-to-use CryptoCape comes with pre-soldered headers making this board ready to be attached to your BeagleBone right out of the box. The only additional item a Maker will need to get the CryptoCape fully-functional is a CR1225 coin-cell battery.

Interested? You can check out the product’s official SparkFun page here. Meanwhile, those looking to learn more should also pick up a copy of Datko’s book entitled “BeagleBone for Secret Agents.” The third chapter of the resource is devoted to the CryptoCape where Makers will learn how to combine a fingerprint sensor, the on-board ATmega328P, and the crypto chips to make a biometric authentication system.