More tea please.


You may remember Fetproxy, a free software alternative to msp430-gdbproxy.

Fetproxy never really got beyond the quick hack that Tom and I threw together in the 25C3 hack-centre at the end of 2008. The next stage was going to be a massive upheaval of its architecture, but I never found the time to do this. Enter Daniel Beer with his excellent MSPDebug utility. Daniel has found the time to work on this tool, and has made several releases so far. I’ve tested it with a couple of boards that I had lying around, and it appeared to work quite well.

Go and use it. Its source code is quite legible too, so you should hack on it too ;)

I’ve packaged mspdebug for Fedora, and you’ll find the package in this directory. Maybe I’ll jump through the hoops of getting it included in the repositories soon.

2010-11-04 Update: mspdebug has been in the Fedora repositories for a while now. Install it using:

pkcon install mspdebug
Posted at 1:45 pm on Saturday 29th May 2010

Sweet lasers

Jeff and I recently purchased a laser cutter. Jeff and Johannes spent a long time adjusting the mirrors and lenses in the cheaply constructed machine until the beam was finally behaving in the right way (whilst I was experiencing my new guitar :). We’ve experimented with cutting through a wide range of things. Thingiverse is a brilliant concept: being able to download and print an object is amazing!


Johannes and I played around with sintering sugar. After tuning the laser power and speed to get the sugar to melt together, we decided to try out a multi-layer object. This object is made of something like 6 or 7 layers sintered on top of each other:


We printed the object the other way up from how it’s shown above. The criss-crossed interconnection between the cylindrical walls was added in the last layer we sintered.

There’s more to come on the laser cutter front in the future… The software that the laser cutter comes with is a piece of Windows software called “NewlyDraw”. It’s got quite a limited and inextensible feature set. I’ve currently got this confined to a virtual machine, but intend on reverse engineering the PC-to-laser-cutter protocol so that I can replace it with something significantly more flexible and Linux related.

Posted at 2:53 pm on Monday 24th May 2010

The Formica Taschepack

Chris posted earlier today with some photos of the Formica eye expansion boards that he and the rest of his biologically-inspired robotics group have been working on. Jeff and I felt that the strategic addition of some facial hair would solve some of the technical issues that they’re currently working through:

Subscribe to my blog to stay current with the latest Formica facial hair developments!

Posted at 11:57 pm on Tuesday 11th May 2010

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