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. Much of it has already been outlined in previous posts, but here's a quick recap:
- Any connector can now be used as either an input or an output. This means instead of 6 dedicated R/C inputs and 6 dedicated servo outputs, the new version can now read up to twelve R/C inputs or control up to twelve servos/ESCs (though it needs external power for servo control).
- The board now has a sport to add a level-shifting chip to allow connection the the TiltyIMU's primary I2C communication network (the network on which all of the sensors are). However, it also maintains the capability to use the secondary I2C network used by the Dual Motor Driver add-on. However, this may only be a prototype feature and may be removed or left in for the final production board.
- And lastly, lots of little changes and additions like improved silkscreen labeling and better connector spacing.
Secondly, I may have found an alternate bluetooth chip compatible with the TiltyIMU control boards. It's a bit more expensive, so it's not likely to replace the current version in the near future. But it's Bluetooth 4.0 (BLE), making it compatible with most recent iOS devices (from the iPhone 4S on). Prior to Bluetooth 4.0, Apple devices required an Apple authenticated bluetooth module (which of course cost more) to be allowed to connect. However, Bluetooth 4.0 is universally compatible with most recent smartphones and tablets, as well as massively more power efficient and with increased range. I'm excited to see how these new modules perform (I have 5 on their way for testing) and may offer them as an optional upgrade to the TiltyIMU controllers in the near future.
And lastly, the Tilty Duo and Quad production circuit boards are in! I have 300 circuit boards which can be either a Tilty Duo or Quad (depending on what parts are put on) and they are beautiful! Up until these, all of my circuit board prototypes have come from a PCB company called OSH Park, who is awesomely cheap and does a decent job. But these new boards are of a totally different level of quality and are truly worth manufacturing and selling. And now they're black! I'll have picture up within a couple of days after I have assembled the first few. I would have them sooner, but a different part order got goofed up and has set me back a day or two. But as soon as I have a few assembled and can be certain they perform as they should, I hope to begin full-scale production and shipment!