Let's Make Robots!

Introducing Chipino

I came across this article about a new pic/arduino board in the March 2011 Nuts and Volts issue and wanted to share it.  More information at Jameco.  It may not be fully compatible with an Arduino or mature, but I think it might be the perfect bridge for some people to make the transition from PIC to Arduino.

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I've been watching these guys and I'm curious to see what kind of traction they get.  Chuck Hellebuyck is involved.  He's written books and articles about PIC programming and he's made a little C software library called SimpleC available for this project.  The idea is to provide some easy-to-use basic functions so that folks can ease their way into C without understanding all the ins and outs of the micro registers and peripherals.

Chipino has no bootloader.  You program it using a PicKit 2 or similar setup.  It's "almost" pin compatible with Arduino so that you can use shields.

Regarding the servos, it looks like SimpleC has a pulse function that is being used as a simple servo driver.  But really you would be running in Hitech C which comes free from Microchip who makes the PIC, so you could easily find a better servo routine.



After looking at the board layout, it seems that it is compatible with my Robot Builder's Shield. The only PWM pins of the Chipino, pins 5 and 6 are exactly what the shield uses for the motors PWM signals. The analog pins are similar, so the only thing I have no idea if it works is the servo pins. I have no experience with PIC chips, so if anyone can shed some light here it will be awesome!