Arduino KS0108 touchscreen Marisa program

I edited the touchscreen Neko program to include Marisa sprites based on her sprites from “Patchcon: Defend the Library!”, except in monochrome. She can also be controlled by serial port if connected through USB: send a header byte of 255 to the Arduino, followed by the X and Y coordinates, and she will move there (assuming the previous command was a valid one). This allows her to also be controlled by, say, Ustream/IRC chat commands.

Source code and bitmaps can be found here.

Update: Had an interactive stream on Ustream where viewers could type “!mari” followed by two integers, and she would move to the coordinate (unless it’s too large or small, then she moves to wherever she can). Here‘s a recording of the stream; cooler stuff happens at about 13 mins onward (fire and snow effects). It doesn’t record the chat messages though, but they were definitely there.

Arduino KS0108 touchscreen Neko program

Made an Arduino program based on the computer program Neko. Neko moves to where you tap on the screen, and if you don’t do anything for awhile, it does some idle animations. I’ve also added a thing that wasn’t in the original program; after Neko performs two idle animations, it moves to a random location on the screen (not shown in the video).

Source code can be found here.

Update: Figured out how to make Neko controllable by having users type in coordinates on UStream.

GLCD with touchscreen

I took one of those Sony Ericsson touchscreens I got from DealExtreme, along with a SparkFun Nintendo DS touchscreen breakout board (it works with this touchscreen too), and put it on my KS0108 MONOCHRON GLCD screen after a lot of messing around with wires. The touchscreen is actually a really good size for this screen, it’s just slightly larger but it’s a very good fit. I knew it was a good idea to buy two of them though, because I ended up breaking one of them (the wires are very fragile and it got torn off), which is why I decided to use twenty layers of tape to protect the wires on the second one. The only downside to using this touchscreen with the GLCD is that now I only have one analog input pin left.

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Remote controlled crossfading ping pong ball

Now that fall semester is over and winter break has begun, I’m gonna start making more stuff! Building on to the color-crossfading ping pong ball, I decided to use the 38kHz infrared receiver module and keychain remote I bought awhile ago to make it remote-controlled. Each button on the remote corresponds to a color, except the power button which turns it off.

It’s a modified version of this RGB LED crossfader program combined with the sample code provided in the keychain remote item page.

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IRC on an Arduino-powered GLCD

IRC on a GLCD
IRC on a GLCD!

I found this thing about making an IRC bot in Python, and thought: since I know how to send serial information from Python using pySerial and how to receive serial information on the Arduino as well as knowing how to output text on a GLCD, why not make an Arduino program that shows IRC text on a GLCD?

Basically, the IRC bot connects to a server and channel you choose, and it just stays in there, sending serial information to the Arduino. Using the GLCD library 3 beta, the Arduino simply prints each character received to a text area and checks for newlines.

The IRC bot isn’t that great (probably still needs a lot of work) but it gets the job done.

Source code available here and in the full post. Note that the Python script requires pySerial and Python 3.1.

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Animations on KS0108 GLCD


The source code for Running Marisa can be found here.

Included with the Arduino GLCD library is a Processing program by Michael Margolis that converts an image into a header file that you can include in your Arduino sketch to display bitmaps using GLCD.DrawBitmap(). It’s pretty convenient, but what if I wanted to include lots of bitmaps, to be used as frames of an animation? I’d have to generate the header files one by one and include all of them, then define some arrays to point to the different frames.

I decided to modify the program to accept a folder as an input, and the output would be a single file containing the headers for all of the files in the array. In addition, at the very end of the file, a pointer array is declared, with each entry in the array pointing to the address of each image. The length of the array is also stored as a variable.

Bitmap header file
The lines appended to the end of the file.

You can download the Processing file and java applet here.

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Arduino softpot potentiometer game


Made a cave-navigation game using a Spectra Symbol softpot. The resistance of the softpot changes depending on where you press it, so you can do an Arduino analogRead() on the voltage output to determine where the circle goes on the screen. You have to make sure to add a resistor (I think I used a 100k resistor) going from the middle pin to ground (or power), or else the output floats.

Code available in the full post.

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Summer course – Diff EQ Wars

Diff EQ Wars title screen
Diff EQ Wars title screen

My final project for the Python summer course was “Diff EQ Wars”, a game/simulation of units on a battlefield using graphics from Advance Wars. It uses ordinary differential equations for the motion and health of the units, with terms based on certain conditions (i.e. is the unit near an enemy? / is the unit near a base? / is the unit in a forest? / etc).

You can find it here, along with the other programs I wrote for that class. It was written in Python 3.1 and requires pygame.

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Summer course – Physics simulations in Python

Gravity simulation
Simulation of gravitational motion of objects in Python

During summer 2010, I took a course where we learned how to program in python; specifically for finding numerical solutions for ordinary differential equations using Runge-Kutta. Most of the things we did were physics-related, though for the final project it didn’t have to be.

Bead on Wire
Bead on a wire, under the effect of gravity

I learned quite a bit from this course; Python is really easy to use and understand. Before this, the only things I knew how to program were the things we learned in CS102 (not very much; our hardest assignment for that class was to write a program that converted formatted data to a more readable format), and some really simple ActionScript things for Flash.

If you’d like to see the programs I wrote for this class, you can find them here. It was written in Python 3.1 (I think) and requires pygame. The final project is in that zip file as well, but I think I’ll make a separate post for that.

Also important note: the code is incredibly inefficient because this was before I learned “proper” programming methods and efficiency, I kinda just did what worked and disregarded time complexity and the overhead associated with making and filling huge multidimensional arrays.