1. Blink & Programming Setup
Welcome to the first sketch (aka program) to test your Bowie Brain board. This is one of the ways we’ll be able to test if everything was soldered properly. We’ll still need to test all the inputs and outputs later on. To start, the first step is to make sure we have our programming setup ready.
In this guide you’ll be downloading Arduino, Teensyduino, the Bowie libraries, and uploading a sketch to the Bowie Brain (Teensy 3.6).
You should be able to complete this guide in less than 45 minutes if you’ve programmed an Arduino before. If this is the first time, then it may take longer.
Assembled Bowie Brain board
Computer that can run Arduino and Teensyduino
Micro USB cable (sync, not charge)
Install the Arduino IDE
IDE stands for ‘Integrated Development Environment’, it is where you will write your code and upload it the microcontroller aka the Bowie Brain!
This is used to send the Arduino code to the Teensy loader for loading onto the Teensy’s chip.
Download BowieLib –
This is the library of Bowie. It has code files that contain functions to interface with the sub-components of Bowie easier, for example, the arm, hopper, drive system, leds, and more. You can instantiate these objects and use their functions to control the movement of the robot and read its sensors. Please note that there are additional dependencies required for this library. The other libraries to download can be found on the Github link above, just scroll down on the readme to see the additional libraries to install.
Download BowieShoreline –
This is another library for Bowie. This is used for all the particular sequences and behaviours for the shoreline application of Bowie. For example, when Bowie has to scoop garbage, you can call the functions in this library, and then this will call the functions in the BowieLib. Please note that there are additional dependencies required for this library. The other libraries to download can be found on the Github link above, just scroll down on the readme to see the additional libraries to install.
Download OperatorInterface –
This is the code library for the hardware Operator Interface that is used to remotely control Bowie. Remember to have the communications add-on pack, which is two Xbees so that the Bowie Brain can communicate with the Operator Interface. Please note that there are additional dependencies required for this library. The other libraries to download can be found on the Github link above, just scroll down on the readme to see the additional libraries to install.
Install the libraries
Move the BowieLib, BowieShoreline, and OperatorInterface to your Arduino libraries folder. For example, on Mac it is located at: ~/Documents/Arduino/libraries
Open Arduino IDE
If it was already open, close the application and start it again.
Open BowieBrainBlink in Arduino
Go to File > Examples > BowieLib > BowieBrainBlink
Change the board to Teensy 3.6
Tools > Board > Teensy 3.6. See the photo for the other settings, they should be fine by default, but it’s good to double check.
Plug in usb cable
Plug in micro usb cable to the Teensy 3.6 on the Bowie Brain board and your computer. Note that this must be a ‘sync’ cable (because it needs to send data back and forth). If it’s just a ‘charge’ cable, it won’t work.
Press ‘Verify’ on the code window
This means your code will be compiled and checked for any errors.
Press ‘Upload’ on the code window
Assuming there were no errors in the step above, now your code will be uploaded to the device, which is our Bowie Brain – a Teensy 3.6!
Verify LEDs are blinking! Congratulations! You have programmed your Bowie Brain!
It should be the big green LED on the Brain Board and the little LED on the Teensy 3.6. They will be on for 1 second, then off for 1 second. Now you can proceed with some of the other example code, or write your own code too. Eventually there will be more documentation as more people program their Bowies. If something is not working, please send us an email.
Page last updated on: Tue Mar 17 20:11:16 2020