Autonomous Robotic Hardware Development

Michael Zaffuto's Blog (23)

FEZ Cerb40 - STM32F4

GHI Electronics FEZ Cerb40 - Use it as is (.NET micro framework), natively, or convert to ARDUINO!!

FEZ Cerb40

  • 168Mhz 32bit STM32F4 processor with floating point.
  • 1MB FLASH and…

Added by Michael Zaffuto on October 11, 2012 at 11:44pm — No Comments

SAM4S16C Atmel 32-bit ARM Cortex-M4 120Mhz !

Think of the possibility of an Arduino Due derivative with this processor..



The Atmel® SAM4S16 microcontroller builds on the high-performance, 32-bit ARM® Cortex™-M4 processor. The SAM4S16 features:

  • Maximum operating speed of 120MHz
  • 1MB of Flash and 128KB of SRAM
  • 1.62V to 3.6V supply
  • Power consumption…

Added by Michael Zaffuto on October 28, 2011 at 3:02pm — No Comments

Atmel ATSAM3U4E ARM-ICE Segger J-Link style Debugger


I recently got one of these...yeah!!  I will be using this with YAGARTO and MDK-ARM (free 32KB limited edition).


The Atmel SAM-ICE debugger is available for all Atmel ARM targets which includes a free GDB Server license.

There is a good tutorial regarding its' use with the YAGARTO tool chain, …


Added by Michael Zaffuto on September 30, 2011 at 5:29pm — No Comments

ArmDuino and ArmDuino Pilot Developer Editions in Progress

ArmDuino is an Arduino Due variant offering a smaller form factor along with a few other niceties!


ArmDuino Pilot design is under way!!  Harnessing the computational power of Atmels ATSAM3U4E,

along with Arduino 32-bit software.


Developer Edition Hardware of ArmDuino Pilot is currently under way!

Block diagrams and hardware descriptions coming soon! 

Added by Michael Zaffuto on September 28, 2011 at 8:13am — No Comments

UAVForge Competition Course

Added by Michael Zaffuto on May 26, 2011 at 12:44am — No Comments

UAVForge - Crowdsourcing for UAVDRONES Innovation

Darpa UAV Contest - UAVforge

Added by Michael Zaffuto on May 25, 2011 at 6:30pm — No Comments

Kicad EDA Suite -- Everything Tastes Better When It's Free

I've been playing around with Kicad lately.  I stumbled upon it for the first time playing around in Ubuntu (KDE) some months ago, running on a BeagleBoard XM of all things!  Since then I've loaded the Windows version as well and it works exactly the…


Added by Michael Zaffuto on March 7, 2011 at 12:12am — No Comments

NetDuino - Pin Compatible with Arduino, .NET debugging!

XmegaPilot may have to find a way to Squeeze this one OnBoard.

Atxmega (Xmegaduino) for Servos and Sensors, AT91SAM7X512 (NetDuino) for outer loop?....Maybe :)

For only $34.95...… Continue

Added by Michael Zaffuto on August 4, 2010 at 4:00pm — No Comments

DIY means DIY

As August approaches and Ning switches over to a paid service...a decision must be made.

Ning is worth $2.95 a month. Is keeping UAVDRONES on Ning worth 2.95 a month?

XmegaPilot (and various other supporting reasearch activities) has not benefited
from the open invitation for collaborative development that a social network can provide.

I believe the decision is clear.

Added by Michael Zaffuto on July 31, 2010 at 12:48am — No Comments

Add Your Wishlist and Feature Requests for XmegaPilot!

Input required from you...the casual observer or die hard uav'er.

Reply with your wishlist of is the time for your input..hardware design is in progress
and there is a window of opportunity.....


Added by Michael Zaffuto on July 9, 2010 at 2:12am — No Comments

No CPLD Re-Design Considered for cost reduction

How many servo ins and out?

Added by Michael Zaffuto on June 21, 2010 at 12:27am — No Comments

Spartan FPGAs versus CPLDs

FPGA Just Might WIN!

Working hard on implementing the Input Capture-Multiplexer.

I'm working with Xilinx Webpack 12.1 and I have a little help with Atium Designer as well :)

It's starting to look like the CPLD won't have the resources I need in a sized package or price I'm looking for.

There are some good options in the Spartan family in the $6 to $12 range that I'm exploring.

I have 3 Xilinx development platform's I'm… Continue

Added by Michael Zaffuto on June 11, 2010 at 2:03am — 1 Comment

XmegaPilot CPLD Provides Failsafe Functionality

The 9500 series Xilinx CPLD is memory mapped into external address space using the atXmega's external bus interface. The CPLD provides a linear address mapping of all 14 Servo Channel Captures. Alternatively, the CPLD will detect frame ends and signal an interrupt to transfer all 14 Captures via DMA to an assigned data memory location within the atxmega. 14 PWM outputs will be sent to the CPLD from the atxmega. Failsafe routing of servo input… Continue

Added by Michael Zaffuto on June 3, 2010 at 1:00am — 6 Comments

MARG Camera Stabilization

SebMadgwickResearch's Camera Stabilization using…

Added by Michael Zaffuto on June 1, 2010 at 7:30am — No Comments

AN177 - Kixrazor – Sparkfun’s 9DOF Razor with Bascom Basic Coded DCM (ala Mahoney/Premerlani style)

Kixrazor is a pretty cool Electronic Flight Information System as called by Natalius Kiedro its creator. Very nice write up is available at The hardware uses a GPS feeding into a Sparkfun 9DOF "Razor" board whose output is used by the AR7212 autopilot which finally sends telemetry (NEMA and AHRS) out to a 433Mhz Modem… Continue

Added by Michael Zaffuto on June 1, 2010 at 12:37am — No Comments

Full Featured ATMEL atXmega128A1 header dev board w/JTAG & PDI

Very nice looking atXmega processor breakout board available from BraveKit on ebay at Looks like a nicely equipped board with fully fanned out I/O's and pre-installed… Continue

Added by Michael Zaffuto on May 25, 2010 at 1:18am — No Comments

XmegaPilot to use MARG AHRS algorithm by Sebastian O.H. Madgwick

Reference Available Below:

An efficient orientation fillter for inertial and inertial/magnetic sensor arrays (Sebastian O.H. Madgwick)

Various algorithms of varying complexity and computational requirements are available to determine the orientation of an object using 9DOF sensors. The Kalman filter was considered and not selected due to issues of simulation, complexity, computational load, and lack of knowledge and experience to take advantage of numerically well… Continue

Added by Michael Zaffuto on May 21, 2010 at 1:14am — No Comments

LPC1102 cool tiny 2 x 2-mm 32-bit micro

Cortex-M0 32K Flash, Uart, SPI and more....very cool!!

Added by Michael Zaffuto on May 17, 2010 at 11:30am — No Comments

MTK3329 Size - Compare to Atmel Xplain and an Ardupilot

The MTK3329's arrived and they are amazingly small. The picture shows an Atmel Xplain development board next to a DIYDrones Ardupilot. Below from left to right, is the amazingly small Gmm-U1, the FGPMMOPA6B with integral LNA and 16mm tuned patch antenna followed by a Sarantel helical SL1203A passive antenna. I have an old Rockwell Jupiter GPS module that… Continue

Added by Michael Zaffuto on May 10, 2010 at 9:31pm — No Comments

JM-XD200-USB an excellent atXmega128a1 development board

The recently updated ATxmega128A1 development board, JM-XD200-USB

, by Justin Mattair at is a very nice atxmega platform. He has thoughtfully included an onboard ATmega32U2 as a PDI programmer, LUFA style (ala… Continue

Added by Michael Zaffuto on April 30, 2010 at 7:30am — No Comments

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