April Circuit Cellar: Sneak Preview

The April issue of Circuit Cellar is coming next week! What is coming up next week in April Circuit Cellar? Drone camera integration, Embedded PCs for transportation, 360 LIDAR tech, 32-bit MCUs, LoRa and more!— this 84-page magazine grows a lovely garden full of embedded electronics articles for your reading pleasure.

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Here’s a sneak preview of April 2020 Circuit Cellar:


Camera Integration for Commercial Drones
By Jeff Child
Today’s drone cameras are highly sophisticated with designs evolved specifically for drone use. In fact, some cameras embed so much processing, the term camera-computer is gaining steam. Advanced drone camera subsystems support multiple camera video streams and even perform AI-based intelligence functions aboard drones. In this article, Circuit Cellar’s Editor-in-Chief, Jeff Child, looks at these technology and product trends.

Intro to Ardupilot and PX4 (Part 1)
By Raul Alvarez-Torrico
The Ardupilot and PX4 open source autopilot platforms are two of the most popular flight controller platforms for drones. In Part 1 of this article series, Raul begins by discussing the general architecture of a do-it-yourself multirotor drone and its main software and hardware components.

Embedded PCs for Transportation Systems
By Jeff Child
Transportation systems—ranging from railway systems to trucking fleets—are relying on advanced embedded PC technology for both the control side and passenger entertainment side of systems. Transportation systems need sophisticated networking, data collection and real-time control, all while meeting safety standards. Circuit Cellar Chief Editor Jeff Child looks at the latest technology trends and products relevant to these applications.


Build a Soap Carving System
By Ho-Jung Yang and Jared Gallina
Today’s microcontrollers can perform precise control all sorts of systems, even stepper motors. Learn how these two Cornell students built “SCULPT”, a 2.5D carver that takes an image and etches it onto a piece of soap. A Microchip PIC32 MCU controls three stepper motors for each of the X, Y and Z axes and carves the soap with an end mill attached to a DC motor.

Datasheet: 32-Bit Microcontrollers
By Jeff Child
32-bit microcontrollers continue to be the workhorse device for today’s embedded applications. To keep pace, MCU vendors are evolving their product lines with robust security, rich I/O functionality and support for all the popular wireless protocols. This Datasheet section updates readers on this technology and provides a sampling of representative 32-bit MCU products.

Rhythm Gesture Game Uses PIC32
By Kristina Nemeth, Jennifer Fuhrer, Joshua Diaz
Today’s microcontrollers have rich resources for implementing functions like gesture control. Learn how these three Cornell students created a rhythm-based gesture game. The game has a base station where the main game control is run, and a module that runs on the player. Microchip PIC32’s MCUs are used to implement the game.


LoRa (Part 4)
By Bob Japenga
Bob continues his article series on LoRa. Previously in the series he described the details of The Things Network. In Part 4, he explores one way to put a LoRa device on TTN.

DSSS in a Nutshell
By Robert Lacoste
DSSS or Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum is used in a huge variety of wired and wireless systems—everything from Wi-Fi to Zigbee. In this article, Robert examines how DSSS works and why it’s so common. This may give readers some ideas for how to improve the performance of their next projects, because DSSS is easy to implement on an MCU.


Taking RPLIDAR Out for a Spin (Part 2)
By Jeff Bachiochi
In Part 1 Jeff stepped you through his project using RPLIDAR, detailing his hardware and software development choices. In Part 2 he looks at the plot made using the Liberty Basic application, and determines exactly what data he needs to make his project more user friendly.

Laser 3D Scanner Uses Raspberry Pi
By Michael Xiao and Thomas Scavella
Digital visualization of 3D objects has become more and more prevalent in the modern age with the rise of 3D printing. Learn how these Cornell undergraduates used a Raspberry Pi, a camera and a laser to make an accurate 3D scanner capable of producing digital meshes of physical objects.

Mapping Tool Leverages LiDAR Technology
By Andrew Orme, Nicholas Gee, Alex Gowans and Duncan Stannard
360-degree LiDAR devices are expensive. Find out how these four engineering students crafted an affordable solution by attaching a flat-plane LiDAR to a mounted stepper motor and then combining the planes and data to represent a 360-degree sweep. They then developed software that virtually builds the space detected by the LiDAR.

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April Circuit Cellar: Sneak Preview

by Circuit Cellar Staff time to read: 3 min