Tag Archives: gyroscope

CMYK 4.0 is a smart, foldable electric bike for your morning commute

This smart electronic bike will let you know the fastest, easiest and safest way to work.

Are you among the millions of city dwellers that ride a bike to work in the morning? If you’re looking to make your commute from home to the office a bit more efficient, then CMYK 4.0 may be for you. Created by New York City-based startup Brooklyness, the foldable electronic bike will automatically reroute you should there be any construction, traffic jams or pothole-filled streets in your way.


The smart bike is packed with several features including advanced hardware and mobile integration. CYMK 4.0 is equipped with a gyroscope and an accelerometer to analyze the terrain and map the road, a cadence sensor to determine how fast you are pedaling and to adjust parameters for a smooth ride, a built-in heart rate monitor on its grips to track performance, and an Atmel MCU to process the information gathered by each of its sensors.

An accompanying app is tasked with crunching the collected data and displaying it on your smartphone over Bluetooth. What’s more, the e-bike boasts a phone charger directly on its handlebar so you can power your mobile device on-the-go, a 24V lithium battery, and a 250W motor that allows for 30 miles of assisted riding on a single charge.


Not only does the e-bike’s embedded sensors determine the condition of the road as you ride it, upon getting to their destination, the app will prompt you to answer a few questions about the traveled course. The more people riding, the more data that can be garnered to generate a map of the best routes to take. This can help you decide which way to go in order to avoid Greenwich Village’s cobblestones, for example.

Its app also enables you keep tabs on performance by measuring things like calories burned, average heart rate, and peaks and lows so you can target which areas of your daily commute to increase speed. Aside from your smartphone, a web-based dashboard lets you take a closer look at battery rate of discharge, charging time and how power consumption changes along your route. You can even plan your commute and socialize with other cyclists to organize a group ride or to receive helpful advice.


Designed with safety and security in mind, the CMYK 4.0 includes an electronic lock that will sound if the bike is ever moved, an RFID tag for easy locating, app-controlled headlights for visibility, and laser beams that project a virtual lane on the road. Beyond that, the two-wheeler is super portable, weighing just 25 pounds and can be folded up to make for easily carrying on public transit or stowing away at work.

Looking for a new means of transportation to work? Hurry over to CMYK’s Indiegogo page, where the Brooklyness team is currently seeking $30,000. However, you’ll have to wait until March 2016 for delivery.

Why do drones love the Atmel SAM E70?

Eric Esteve explains why the latest Cortex-M7 MCU series will open up countless capabilities for drones other than just flying. 

By nature, avionics is a mature market requiring the use of validated system solution: safety is an absolute requirement, while innovative systems require a stringent qualification phase. That’s why the very fast adoption of drones as an alternative solution for human piloted planes is impressive. It took 10 or so years for drones to become widely developed and employed for various applications, ranging from war to entertainment, with prices spanning a hundreds of dollars to several hundreds of thousands. But, even if we consider consumer-oriented, inexpensive drones, the required processing capabilities not only call for high performance but versatile MCU as well, capable of managing its built-in gyroscope, accelerator, geomagnetic sensor, GPS, rotational station, four to six-axis control, optical flow and so on.


When I was designing for avionics, namely the electronic CFM56 motor control (this reactor being jointly developed by GE in the U.S. and Snecma in France, equipping Boeing and Airbus planes), the CPU was a multi-hundred dollar Motorola 68020, leading to a $20 per MIPS cost! While I may not know the Atmel | SMART SAM E70 price precisely — I would guess that it cost a few dollars — what I do I know is that the MCU is offering an excess of 600 DMIPS. Aside from its high performance, this series boasts a rather large on-chip memory size of up to 384KB SRAM and 2MB Flash — just one of many pivotal reasons that this MCU has been selected to support the “drone with integrated navigation control to avoid obstacle and improve stability.”

In fact, the key design requirements for this application were: +600 DMIPS, camera sensor interface, dual ADC and PWM for motor control and dual CAN, all bundled up in a small package. Looking at the block diagram below helps link the MCU features with the various application capabilities: gyroscope (SPI), accelerator (SPI x2), geomagnetic sensor (I2C x2), GPS (UART), one or two-channel rotational station (UART x2), four or six-axis control communication (CAN x2), voltage/current (ADC), analog sensor (ADC), optical flow sensor (through image sensor Interface or ISI) and pulse width modulation (PWM x8) to support the rotational station and four or six-axis speed PWM control.

For those of you who may not know, the SAM E70 is based on the ARM-Cortex M7 — a principle and multi-verse handling MCU that combines superior performance with extensive peripheral sets supporting multi-threaded processes. It’s this multi-thread support that will surely open up countless capabilities for drones other than simply flying.

Atmel | SMART ARM Cortex M7 SAM E70

Today’s drones already possess the ability to soar through the air or stay stationary, snapping pictures or capturing HD footage. That’s already very impressive to see sub-kilogram devices offering such capabilities! However, the drone market is already looking ahead, preparing for the future, with the desire to get more application stacks into the UAVs so they can take in automation, routing, cloud connectivity (when available), 4G/5G, and other wireless functionalities to enhance data pulling and posting.

For instance, imagine a small town tallying a few thousand habitants, except a couple of days or weeks per year because of a special event or holiday, a hundred thousand people come storming into the area. These folks want to feed their smartphone with multimedia or share live experiences by sending movies or photos, most of them at the same time. The 4G/5G and cloud infrastructure is not tailored for such an amount of people, so the communication system may break. Yet, this problem could be fixed by simply calling in drone backup to reinforce the communication infrastructure for that period of time.

While this may be just one example of what could be achieved with the advanced usage of drones, each of the innovative applications will be characterized by a common set of requirements: high processing performance, large SRAM and flash memory capability, and extensive peripheral sets supporting multi-threaded processes. In this case, the Cortex M7 ARM-based SAM E70 MCU is an ideal choice with processing power in excess of 640 DMIPS, large on-chip SRAM (up to 384 KB) and Flash (up to 2MB) capabilities managing all sorts of sensors, navigation, automation, servos, motor, routing, adjustments, video/audio and more.

Intrigued? You’ll want to check out some of the products and design kits below:

This post has been republished with permission from SemiWiki.com, where Eric Esteve is a principle blogger as well as one of the four founding members of SemiWiki.com. This blog first appeared on SemiWiki on July 18, 2015.

This three-axis motion sensor gyroscope is based on an Arduino Pro Mini

Maker Martin Cote has developed a three-axis motion sensor gyroscope that enables you to track head or arm movement, then reproduce it on servos. 

Initially conceived for head-tracking FPV goggles, Martin Cote has created a three-axis motion sensor gyroscope based on an Arduino Pro Mini (ATmega328). Applicable in a wide range of settings, users can track the movement of the head or arm, and replicate it on a set of servos.


Available in two different versions, both wired (Iota) and wireless (Z-ita), the gyroscope is ideal for Makers seeking an inexpensive head-tracking system yet are not comfortable with the advanced programming of accelerometers. Sample use cases include robotics, remote-controlled toys, gaming and interfacing with computers.


First, Iota provides users with the ability to control mini servos that reproduce movement on three axes, as well as reverse the direction of the servos to act as a stabilizer. Measuring just 1” x 3″ in size, the super small and lightweight unit can be easily integrated into any project. Meanwhile, Z-ita does pretty much the same thing but wirelessly within a range of 30 to 50. This set comes with the Ita receiver, which transmits the signals to the servos, as well as a battery capable of lasting of over two hours. What’s more, it offers a selection of 16 channels at the frequency of 2.4Ghz, and allows more than one to be used at a time.


“You want to use the accelerometer signals to another type of application? Get the Iota or Z-ita set and plug it into your Arduino MCU according to the video and use the sketch file provided (which you can adapt to your needs), and look for new possibilities to suit your needs.”

Interested? Head over to Kickstarter page, where Cote has already well exceeded his initial goal of $408. Shipment is expected to begin in October 2015. 

Hackaball is a smart ball that children can program to invent and play games

Make it. Hack it. Play it. 

Nowadays, it seems like kids are more apt to be fixated on the screen of their mobile gadgets than playing outside with one another. Cognizant of this, a new London-based collaborative is looking to converge both modern-day technology with old-school fun to develop what they’re calling Hackaball.


Launched on Kickstarter by innovation startup Made by Many and design company Map, the teched-out ball is packed with a number of electronic components including a gyroscope, an accelerometer, a vibration motor, nine LEDs, a speaker, a microphone, a rechargeable battery, and an Arduino.

“Our early versions of the ball worked with the Arduino Uno (ATmega328) board, progressing to a breadboard Arduino and then making our own SMD designs with the Uno. In the latest prototypes, we used the Arduino Leonardo (ATmega32U4) and our current version runs on the Arduino Mega (ATmega2560). Our production version will run on an ARM chip,” the team revealed.


In an effort to let “kids be kids,” the hardware is housed in a pair of rubber and silicone membraned halves that serve as a shock absorber to protect it from bounces, throws, drops and other harsh elements it will inevitably be put through.

Using its companion mobile app, the ball allows kids to imagine and create their own games in an IFTTT-like system. The Hackaball can be programmed to illuminate lighting effects, emit sounds and make rumble patterns in response to various actions like shaking, dropping and bouncing.


The Hackaball is geared towards the six to 10-year-old demographic and grows the more they play, rewarding kids with unlockable features and challenges them with broken games to fix. In fact, the spherical device arrives “broken,” encouraging its users to get it working through the accompanying iPad app.


Hackaball provides kids with a wide range of uses, whether that’s appearing as a prop in plays, serving as a magic 8-ball, waking them up as an alarm clock in the morning, or even pranking parents by making it a whoopee cushion. What’s more, the device offers users the ability to learn the basics of programming and how technology works in a much more interactive, engaging manner.

“We wanted to make Hackaball tough and beautiful at the same time. We’ve built many prototypes and tested them with the toughest audience – children – to get this right, designing a form that’s robust and tactile but flexible and responsive too,” the team writes. “Hackaball started as an intern project with the simple brief — play! We wanted to give children a new way to understand technology and put them in control.”


Interested in one of your own? Then head over to its official Kickstarter page, where Hackaball is currently seeking has successfully garnered well over $100,000. After having surpassed several of its stretch goals, the team revealed that the gadget will come in two differently colored jackets, soon be hackable through Arduino, and will be available on iOS — meaning users can invent on their iPad or Macs. In the coming months, they also hope to unveil an Android app as well. The product is expected to ship in December 2015 — just in time for the holidays!

Old school gyroscope stabilizes two-wheeler

A gyroscope is a device for measuring or maintaining orientation, based on the principles of angular momentum. According to Wikipedia, mechanical gyroscopes typically comprise a spinning wheel or disc in which the axle is free to assume any orientation.

Although MEMS-based gyroscopes are obviously readily available these days, a Maker by the name of Jim decided to keep things old school for his classic gyro-stabilized two wheeler.

As HackADay’s Adam Fabio reports, Jim cycled through a total of five project iterations in recent months.

“Along the way he’s learned a few important secrets about mechanical gyro design, such as balancing the motor and gyro assembly to be just a bit top-heavy,” Fabio explained.

“[His] gyro is a stack of CDs directly mounted to the shaft of a brushed speed400 R/C airplane motor. The motor spins the CDs up at breakneck speed – literally. Jim mentions that they’ve exploded during some of his early experiments.”

As expected, the gyroscope can move in the fore-aft direction, with side-to-side balancing facilitated by curved tread wheels. Meanwhile, a potentiometer measures the tilt angle of the gyro, as the voltage from the pot is fed into an [Atmel-based] Arduino Uno (ATmega328 MCU) tasked with closing the loop by moving a servo mounted counterweight.

The vehicle is controlled via a typical R/C plane radio, with a servo steering the front wheel and another DC motor pulling rear wheel duty.

“Not only is [Jim’s] creation able to balance on its own, it can even make a U-Turn within a hallway,” Fabio added.

Interested in learning more? You can check out the project’s official page here.