Handy Board Robotics Links
The Handy Board
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a Windows-based HC11 simulator that integrates with the gcc tool chain.
(Wed Mar 3 10:04:09 2004)
Mac OS 9 users: 6811 Downloader MCL has been updated for
compatibility with Mac OS 9. Please note that you need Stuffit
Expander 5.x to extract this file. Here's a direct FTP link to Stuffit
(Tue Nov 30 23:07:01 1999)
The simpleRTJ guys have posted instructions for adding an extra 32K
to your Handy Board! This is a great hack. See my additional
comments in a revised FAQ entry.
(Thu Oct 14 11:36:33 1999)
The simple RealTimeJava for
the 68HC11 project is now in Beta 2, which includes floating point
and garbage collection features. (Link updated Tue Nov
7 10:44:30 2000; first noted Thu Sep 16 10:19:06 1999)
The Handy Board mailing list is now a LUGNET newsgroup.
You may still post messages to firstname.lastname@example.org, or you may use the LUGNET web
(Tue Sep 14 23:48:52 1999)
Info for iMac/G3 users: there's a list of USB
serial solutions on my Mindstorms info page. All of the devices
mentioned have been tested and are compatible with Handy Board
software. Also, make sure to use 6811 Downloader MCL (PPC or 68K version) to
load pcode into your HB.
(Wed Sep 8 15:21:25 1999)
Jonathan Pennington has created a Interactive C code
repository for Handy Board users to share their code.
(Sat Jul 17 09:21:12 1999)
I've begun a debug page for Windows serial
line communications problems. A good place to start if you're
having communications difficulties on a Windows machine.
(Tue May 4 11:59:34 1999)
Jeff Keyzer has created a search site for
the Handy Board mail archive. This is a great resource for
searching through back traffic on the Handy Board mail list. Thanks,
(Sun Apr 11 08:50:58 1999)
There is a slight revision to the Handy Board Expansion Board software
drivers, to enable compatibility with other software drivers, such as
Barry Brouillette's GP2D02 driver. Download the new drivers from the
Expansion Board software page.
(Wed Mar 3 12:16:50 1999)
The Handy Board Expansion Board is officially
released. The Expansion Board adds a bunch of new
input and output features to the Handy Board: 14 analog inputs
(including 4 compatible with active LEGO sensors), 9 digital outputs,
6 servo motor outputs, easy hookup of the Polaroid ultrasonic ranging
system, and a general-purpose prototyping area.
(Thu Dec 31 10:43:46 1998)
Kam Leang contributed a
low-cost, high power motor driver design compatible with the Handy
Board. See the Software/Contributed page.
(Sun Dec 13 00:12:57 1998)
9600 baud serial output
driver. Communicate with other serial devices, such as
the Scott Edwards Serial Servo
Controller, without having to unplug the RJ11 serial connection to
Interactive C. Get the new drivers in the Software/Libraries section. (Thu Dec 18 09:40:35 1997)
Smooth PWM Routines.
Julian Skidmore implemented a
new algorithm for performing the pulse width modulation on the Handy
Board's motors, allowing up to 100 power steps rather than just
eight! Download the update in the Software/Contributed section.
(Wed Dec 3 08:57:05 1997)
Fred's Web Specials
- Sensors for the HB. Drawings that show how
to wire sensors and motors to the Handy
LEGObug, a two-motor LEGO vehicle designed for use
with the Handy Board.
- Handy Board Press Release, first announcing
the availability of the MIT Handy Board.
photographs from the 1997 AAAI Mobile Robot Competition held in
Providence, RI are
on-line. (Fri Aug 15 09:40:40 1997)
photographs from the Trinity College Fire-Fighting Robot Contest
and the Rhode Island School of the Future Robotic Park Exhibition are
on-line. (Mon May 12 23:00:30 1997)
- Read Fred's thoughts after
participating in the 1997 Trinity College Fire-Fighting robot contest,
written as a open letter to the contest
founders, Professors Jake Mendelssohn and David Ahlgren. (Sun Apr 27 23:16:14 1997)
- Quicktime movies of high school kids at the East Providence Career
and Technical Center working on their fire-fighting
robots, using MIT Programmable Bricks. (Tue Mar 11
- A schematic of the proposed
Expansion Board is available. Please look at the specifications of the board and provide
feedback. For example, there are two free digital output lines -- would
you prefer to have +5v/100 mA transistor drivers, +9v/1A transistor
drivers, or just the plain digital outs? (Fri Feb 7
Contests and Conferences
- The Western Canadian
Robot Games will be held at the Southern Alberta Institute
of Technology in Calgary, Alberta during the month of May, 1998. Craig Maynard is the event's
- The 1998
Trinity College Fire-Fighting Robot Contest! To be held
sometime in April, 1998 at Trinity College in Hartford, CT, this is a
fifth annual event. There are two divisions, one for adults and one
for kids, with a $1000 cash prize to the winner in each! Also read
Fred's comments from the 1996 contest and 1997
contest. This is an open call for Handy
Board owners to enter a robot or just come to mingle.
- The Sixth
Annual Mobile Robot Competition at the AAAI-97
conference, was held in Providence, RI from July 27 to 31, 1997.
Spatial Reasoning in Mobile
Robots and Animals:
A Workshop on Robot Navigation.
Conference was held 8th - 9th April 1997 at
Manchester University, UK. From the conference description: ``It is
the organizers' intention to bring together scientists from the broad
areas of biology and mobile robotics and to facilitate the necessary
cross fertilization to advance the field of robot navigation.''
has created the FT639, an
8-pin DIP that receives 2400 baud serial to control five servo motors.
They're advertising it for desktop control applications, but it has
obvious robotic applications as well, for only $19.95. There's also
which lets you read the state of 5 digital inputs over the serial
line. (Tue Jan 13 09:26:20 1998)
Microcontrollers Home Page. 6811 board links. In the author's own
words, ``This page is intended to be a source of information for those
interested in Motorola MC68HC05 and MC68HC11 microcontrollers.''
Embedded C Resources.
Set of pointers to C compilers for 6811, PIC, and other embedded CPUs.
Embedded Acquisition Systems
has created the Finger Board, an
extremely small 6811 board that can run Interactive C. The Finger
Board, which adopts the memory and peripheral select design of the
Handy Board, doesn't have motor drivers or 3-wire sensor headers, but
these can be added as all of the requisite signals are on headers.
All of the Finger Board's components and connectors are on a uniform
0.1" grid, allowing easy interfacing to hand-built protoboard
circuits. Bare boards and assembled/tested systems are available.
(Fri Oct 24 18:28:59 1997; updated Thu Nov 1 17:42:25 2001)