Blog

Welcome to the TiltyIMU blog page! Here is where you can keep fully up-to-date on what I'm working on and how design and production are coming along

It’s been a good long while, but I’m still working!

I know it’s been far longer than it should’ve been since I posted an update here, but I can assure you things are still progressing! I’ve taken a new job in Texas where I’ve had to move and have just finally got set up again to continue fulfilling hardware orders (took far longer than I’d hoped/expected)...

I juast added an update to the website on how to install the software necessary for the Teensy to communicate with the TiltyIMU demo software.

The new Tilty Omni prototype is ordered!

Today I put in the order for the new Tilty Omni prototypes! I’m optimistic that these will be the only prototype revision as,compared to every other board I’ve designed so far, this one is extremely simple. It will have a grand total of two parts on it besides the headers used to mount the Teensy 3.0 and attach it to the Tilty Duo or Quad, and those to components are a pair of identical resistors. …

Getting started improvements and ongoing design

Today I updated the getting started page of the TiltyIMU with a much nicer reference illustration for the Tilty Duo and Quad connections. It’s still cluttered, and probably not quite final, but it’s a lot better than the bullet point list I was using previously. Every connection available is labeled now, and the 3.3v only pins are marked so hopefully nobody blows up their Tilty by attaching any 5v devices to 3.3v only pins.

Tilty Omni re-design is happening, and it will be glorious...

So after a significant number of responses to my proposed re-design of the Tilty Omni, I received a unanimous vote of approval. But there were a couple of people who were unclear on how exactly the new changes would affect things, so I hope to clear things up with this post.

To start, the reason for designing the Tilty Omni at all was to take advantage of some extra input and output capability on the bottom of the Teensy 3.0 microcontroller. …

Possible major Tilty Omni overhaul

Update!

The original Tilty Omni design idea was to essentially build a Tilty Duo, and solder the Teensy microcontroller directly to the circuit board. This would allow access to the extra I/O on the bottom of the Teensy. However, that’s proven to be more difficult in practice than in theory. The design has been plagued with problems, the circuit board is much more complicated due to the extra I/O, and the sensor and pin connections are different from the Tilty Duo and Quad making it require different code. …

Whew...

After a longday of getting ready for shipping, the first batch of Kickstarter rewards are ready to be sent out later today (as it’s currently about 2 in the morning). For that reason I’m going to keep this post reasonably brief.

The first two reward levels for the Tilty Duo are all packed up and ready to ship, and there’s a new section to the website to help people get up and running with the TiltyIMU. …

It’s the Leaning Tower of Tiltys!

As assembly continues, things can start to get a little tedious. And yesterday I completed and tested about two dozen boards. Since soldering headers starts to get kind of boring after a while, it led to this: the Leaning Tower of Tiltys! A whopping eleven Tilty Duo tall tower that I just kept adding to after I finished each board (until it fell over). I know it’s somewhat stupid and silly, but it does at least demonstrate that I am making progress. …

Still working...

I’m afraid there isn’t much to report from this weekend. I’ve spent most of my time assembling Tilty Duos to fulfill Kickstarter rewards.

I got a little bit of other work done, but nothing major worth noting. So, sorry for the lack of interesting new material! But manufacturing doesn’t make for an interesting blog update, though it’s worth noting the continuing progress.

So much to do, so little time!

Sadly, I haven’t been able to get as much done the past couple of days as I’d like due to midterms and a minor family issue. Thankfully though, I’ll be done with the tests after tomorrow and the family thing is pretty much taken care of. But all of that doesn’t mean I haven’t been working!

As some of you have likely seen (unless you’re reading this in the far future…) I just recently started manufacturing production Tilty Duos and Quads (

A sneak preview of what's to come

So no big detailed update on what I did over the past couple of days, but here's a couple of pictures as a hint of what's to follow in the next few days.

Also, you may notice that the top picture is a 2x3 grid, but the bottom is only a 2x2 grid.... Wonder what happened to the other two...

Ordered Tilty Omni and R/C adapter, received final Duo/Quads, possible BLE found

So it's been a slow few days for work on the TiltyIMU, as I have been busy with other business and schoolwork. But that is not to say that I do not have news!

First of all, I ordered revised Tilty Omni and R/C Receiver Adapter prototypes. The Omni doesn't feature any major changes, and is simply a revision to improve performance and improve ease of assembly. The R/C adapter, however, got a major overhaul. …

New Motor Driver, USB Host, and R/C Receiver Adapter

So today's post is a day behind the news, as I had some other things I had to take care of yesterday... But interesting news it is! I have two new prototypes; one for the Dual Motor Driver and one for the USB Host add-on. I also have a R/C Receiver Adapter modified to behave as the next iteration will, with far more input and output capability and fewer parts. …

Post-update update

So after my update to Kickstarter yesterday, I went on to do a full day's work of designing and programming. Most significantly, I tested a new method of reading R/C inputs from a receiver.

The original R/C adapter used an or-gate chip to send the six input channels to the two interrupt pins available on the microcontroller. It was fast and efficient, but required the extra chip and required that the input channels be connected in a certain way.

First Tilty Omni Prototype Is In!

Along with a new R/c Receiver Adapter prototype! As you can see, they're not fully assembled, but they are bother completely assembled from a functionality standpoint. Both boards are pretty well tested from a hardware standpoint now, and both have presented changes that need to be made before they're ready for production. But the necessary changes are pretty minimal, and won't much affect the boards in any obvious sense.

Multiple add-on testing and TiltyWay progress

Today I primarily did two things: programmed the software library for the Dual Motor Driver add-on, and sort of blew up my one assembled prototype board.... "Why?" or "How?" you may ask; by accident and because I plugged a battery into it backwards. It should be said, though, that the Tilty Quad that the add-on was connected to survived unscathed.

To explain the issue, on most of the add-on boards and the Tilty controllers, the battery power goes directly to a reverse-power protected voltage regulator before going to any of the other components on the circuit board. …

Big update coming soon!

But in the meantime, a little new info... I ordered a couple new prototype boards: an updated Dual Motor Driver and the first USB Host shield. The motor driver update fixes a few issues and adds a feature:

  • Fixes some issues I2C communication to the Tilty control boards
  • Adjusts the pinout of the motor connectors to better match the motor's own pinout and to make both sides compatible with a single connector

Productive day of coding

Yesterday I decided to begin work on coding the actual software libraries that will be used for the R/C Receiver Adapter add-on. And though I put a lot of time and effort into the work, I can sum it up fairly quickly.

Currently implemented features include:

  • The basic command structure (which I'll outline below)
  • Reading of R/C channel data from a Spektrum Satellite receiver, as well as sensing of connection status (whether the signal is lost or available)

Almost ready for production and USB Host add-on

So as I said in my lat post, I recently got some quotes for costs to manufacture the Tilty Duo and Quad circuit boards. Today I got a quote that I think will work for me, and I've put in an order for the final prototype boards. They'll be prototypes only because they'll still be ordered in small quantity though. In every other respect, they should match the final shipping product. …

Tilty Omni is ordered and R/C Receiver add-on (mostly) works!

So over today and yesterday, I managed to get quite a bit done and have some exciting news and stories. Of course the big news (which I spoiled in the post title) is that I ordered the first Tilty Omni prototypes! But (surprise!) I actually did that yesterday! I also ordered the revised (and hopefully fully functional this time) R/C Receiver Adapter add-on as well. …

The TiltyIMU as a whole is starting to come together

Check it out! A Tilty duo, with the Advanced IMU, R/C Receiver Adapter, and Dual Motor Driver add-on board all stacked up in one (and spread out in the bottom picture) ! This is the first time I've put stacked more than one add-on board at once, and I must say it's pretty exciting. Unfortunately it doesn't do much yet, as I'm still working on testing and programming the add-on boards, but so far the concept is perfectly sound.

The Dual Motor Driver Works!

Today saw the majority assembly and partial testing of the Dual Motor Driver add-on board. It is not as high-quality or complete of an assembly job as I usually do as I had to make use of my personal soldering equipment (which is nowhere near as nice as what I have access to at my college). Despite those difficulties, I was able to assemble enough of the board for it to be fully functional and to find a couple (very minor) things I'd like to change to simplify the assembly process.

Another new add-on board is in!

Today I received (but was sadly unable to assemble) the first prototype of the Dual Motor Driver add-on board. Though I hope to be able to assemble one this weekend, it may not happen as I don't have the proper tools for soldering the microcontroller that handles all of the motor control and communication with the Tilty's Teensy 3.0. However, just from looking at the boards I have to say I'm pleased. …

Successfully Funded!

With the Kickstarter campaign finally over, I am extremely pleased to announce that I was successfully funded with a staggering $20,909 (418% of what I hoped to achieve)! I owe a huge thank you to all of my 203 backers, regardless of pledge level, you all helped me surpass my wildest expactations.

Tilty Duo Quad V022

But despite raising the money, my work continues unabated! I recently assembled two of the most recent Tilty Quad and one Tilty Duo prototype with the 1kB EEPROM (which of course is now officially out of date, as the final boards will use flash memory). …

New TiltyWay Prototype and an Intern!

So to anyone who's seen the most update from yesterday on Kickstarter (as of this writing) this won't be much of an update. But to anyone new, this is a good one.

The TiltyWay design render that was in my previous blog post has been turned into reality, and it works beautifully! You can check out the picture above or a video of it running at the bottom of this post. …

Just a progress update

Over the past few days I've been keeping busy primarily writing software libraries, and fixing some existing librarie's incompatibilities with the Teensy 3.0 microcontroller. But I'm pleased to say that I now have fully functional libraries for all of the sensors used by the Tilty control boards, as well as a fully functional (though not yet finished) library to control the Tilty's bluetooth module.

Big Update Today!

The new prototypes are in, and the first official Tilty Quad is (mostly) assembled! All it's missing is some headers, but they will hopefully be here soon. You can see a comparison between the old and new prototypes below, old on the left and new on the right. (Sorry for the somewhat poor lighting, but I wanted to share the update as soon as possible)

New vs old

And here's a summary of how things are going as of today…

So what's going on?

Now that the Kickstarter is up and running, I am once again devoting my time to hardware and software design.

From a hardware standpoint:

  • The prototype Tilty Duo and Quad PCB's should arrive by tomorrow or Monday (July 1st) and be assembled and ready for testing within one business day
  • Begun part selection and functionality design for the dual motor driver
  • Ordered enough parts to fully populate two Tilty Quads (which use the most components), and have already received enough to assemble one Duo and one Quad

Kickstarter is up!

The Kickstarter is officially live!Tell your friends, tell your folks, tell random strangers on the street! There are tons of rewards to be claimed, so head on over and make a donation to get a Tilty of your own! It's been months since I first started working on what became the Tilty Duo and it's come so far as an idea, a product, and a . Regardless of the outcome, I'm pleased with the results I've achieved so far.

Segway Video!

I just uploaded a video of my homemade Segway-style scooter to youtube. Check it out! It's the reason I developed the first Tilty control board and uses the very first prototype Tilty Duo.

I also just added some basic documentation of how it works here. I'll provide more detailed documentation soon.

Tilty Duo and Quad prototypes are ordered!

The final prototypes are ordered! Barring any problems they will be the shipping versions of the Duo and Quad (with a few minor labeling changes to differ them from the prototypes). They should arrive within the next two weeks.

The new versions use one PCB for the Duo and Quad Tilty versions, without some parts being populated for the Duo version, making manufacture cheaper. …

Kickstarter is almost done and Tilty Duo and Quad revisions have begun!

Finally, after weeks of tweaking, critiquing, filming, and editing, the Kickstarter for the TiltyIMU series is just about done! All that remains is final critiques by people unfamiliar with the project and submitting it for review by the Kickstarter committee.

The board design for the new revision of the Tilty Duo has also begun. With the form factor significantly shrunk and fewer parts, it should be much cheaper than the original version to produce.

Website's almost done...

TiltyIMU.com is officially mine! Now you can access this website from there, without the hassle of weird web and IP addresses. The official @TiltyIMU.com e-mail has been implemented as well, I can be reached there at AlexBeattie@TiltyIMU.com.

First Post

The Interax website is live! Though it's not yet finished. And it's running off of a Raspberry Pi, so I apologise for any potential loading issues you may experience while here.