Let's Make Robots!

miniature Arduino programming plug & other

As some of you may know i'm building miniature swarmrobots. I have finished first version of electronics and I'm in middle of designing second version. Second version will be much smaller and packs more features.

Atmega + camera.

I have thought about atmega + camera idea too, but for use on atmega not sending. I looked at CMUcam but it wasn't so low-cost as it was advertised (100$ it too much). I found http://www.robotshop.us/sfe-cmos-camera-640-480.html . It seems cheap, microcontroller friendly and so on. Only problems are - SMD connections, killer programming and impossible debuging.

 

So, all thoughts and good links are welcome.

constant current and voltage source for charging

i have 5V current source and I want to charge 3 cell NiCd pack with it. Idea is to charge with voltage ~4.2 and current ~90mA. I know this circuit can be made with one transistor or less but i havn't found anything useful yet. Can anyone help, povide schematics or ideas?

Breaking PICs

How can i make sure that my PIC is functional? I use PIC16F88 and PicKit2. I connected PIC with my robot and programmed couple of times. Suddenly all programming fails and I get error "Unsupported Part (ID=3FE0)". I googled it and everyone said it is a power error. I took PIC away from robot and used breadboard to connect it with PicKit. No other components were used. It still showed error when trying to program. When i clicked "Check communication" PicKit found the PIC but if i try to program it doesn't.