EVShield Holonomic Platform with LCD & Wii Nun-chuck

EVShield
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A few days ago I received an EVShield from OpenElectrons (Mindsensors) to Beta test. The EVShield fits on top of an Arduino Microcontroller and operates in a similar manor to the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Programmable Brick. The EVShield allows you to connect the full range of LEGO Mindstorms EV3 & NXT, Sensors and Motors to an Arduino Uno Board.

Wii Controlled EVShield Holonomic Platform with LCD

You can also attach other Arduino Uno Shields on top of the EVShield, as well as a multitude of Sensor and Control Modules. This allows access to thousands of possibilities.

EVShield

A Sensor Module Starter Kit specially for those beginners who are interested in Arduino such as the one picture below will set you back somewhere around AUD66. You will have a complete set of Arduino’s most common and useful electronic components. What’s more most suppliers will offer you a detailed tutorials, including project introduction and their source code.You may learn about Arduino through using these basic projects. With the EVShield and such a  kit will help you control the physical world with sensors.

Arduino Starter Kit

A lot of Arduino compatible modules can be purchase for a couple of dollars each through eBay. A typical Sensor Kit will contain:

  • Relay For Arduino
  • Ulltrasonic Distance Sensor HC-SR04
  • Push Buttom Module
  • Active Buzzer Module
  • Passive Buzzer Module
  • Hall Sensor Module
  • Male to Male cable
  • Infrared Receiver Module
  • Water Sensor
  • Touch Sensor Module
  • Flame Sensor Module
  • Temperature Sensor
  • Tmeperature & Relative humitity Sensor Module
  • Shock-Switch Sensor
  • Tracking Sensor Module
  • Photosensitive Sensor Module
  • Joystick For arduino
  • Servo Motor
  • Stepper Motor & Control Module

Arduino Uno

The Arduino is programmed with C++ via the Arduino IDE, or programming environment. The Arduino development environment contains a text editor for writing code, a message area, a text console, a toolbar with buttons for common functions, and a series of menus. It connects your computer to the Arduino hardware, and allows you to upload programs and communicate with them.

Arduino IDE

A a first EVShield project, I decided to use it to power a Holonomic Robotic Platform. The Robot is controlled via a Wii Nun-chuck Controller with its plug removed and the wires connected directly to the EVShields’ I2C Serial Port.

Wii Nun-Chuck Controller

As it seam that the colours of Wii Nun-chuck’s connecting wires within the cable vary from manufacturer-to-manufacturer, I suggest that prior to fitting a suitable I2C Connector you check the wiring. By removing the two screws that hold the Nun-chuck together you ca access its internals to check the labeling of the wires on the PCB as shown below.

Wii Nun-Chuck Controller I2C Internals

There are also Wii Nun-chuck Adapter PCBs available for a couple of dollars that plug straight into the Arduino’s Expansion Ports. This will eliminate butchering your Wii Nun-chuck Controller. Also you could build your own adapter from a piece of Double-Sided PCB from instructions freely avialable on the Internet.

EVShield I2C Port Expander

As the EVShield only has one set of I2C Port Pins, I suggest you make a port splitter up on a scrap of Vero Board like shown above. Commercial versions are also available from a number of suppliers.

Wii Controlled EVShield Holonomic Platform with LCD

I have added a 16 Character by 2 Line, LCD Display Module, as a means to provide visual feedback in the form a Text. The Display uses a I2C Serial for communicating with the Arduino Uno, via the I2C port that is available on the EVShield. A suitable I2C type LCD Display Modules are relatively inexpensive, costing less than AUD13. I made up a simple LEGO Technics Screen Surround and mounted it with the trusty old ‘Hot Glue Gun’ to the LCD Display Module.

16x2 LCD Display Module

The software is still has a minor bug which I have failed to catch. But that said, this EVShield powered Holonomic Robot performs as well as my other Holonomic Platforms do. The code relies on a modified version of WiiChuck.h file originally instigated the Conversion to Arduino by Danjovic (http://hotbit.blogspot.com).

C++ Arduino Source Code: EVShield Holonomic Platform.zip

 

OpenElectrons-logoEVShield library provides interfaces to use EVShield by OpenElectrons.com on Arduino.At the time of this writing, EVShield and this library can be used with the Arduino Uno, Uno R3 and Duemilanove boards.

Online documentation of this Library Reference is available at: www.openelectrons.com (Note however, the online version may not match exactly with the library files you have installed on your computer).

The EVShield as a must have if you want too broaden the possibilities that the Arduino development platform offers. You have the best of both worlds. LEGO too build your Robot with, and the world of Arduino Microcontrollers to power and control it.

More information about EVShield is available at: http://www.openelectrons.com/evshield

“If all goes to plan, you can see the EVShield controlling a LEGO Train Layout. Switching Track Points, as well as controlling the Locomotives speed and direction at Brixhibition Launceston.”

 

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