Eric hits the big time

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EW is mentioned in Atmel's twitter feed:

https://twitter.com/Atmel/status...

that highlights his article here:

http://atmelcorporation.wordpres...

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Way to go Eric!!

I would rather attempt something great and fail, than attempt nothing and succeed - Fortune Cookie

 

"The critical shortage here is not stuff, but time." - Johan Ekdahl

 

"Step N is required before you can do step N+1!" - ka7ehk

 

"If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue!" - Kartman

"Why is there a "Highway to Hell" and only a "Stairway to Heaven"? A prediction of the expected traffic load?"  - Lee "theusch"

 

Speak sweetly. It makes your words easier to digest when at a later date you have to eat them ;-)  - Source Unknown

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB, RSLogix user

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EW!

The largest known prime number: 282589933-1

It's easy to stop breaking the 10th commandment! Break the 8th instead. 

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Thanks!

I'm going to be turning it into a regular activity.

Regarding the topic itself...

It has been a big epiphany. I had a regular engineering training. I know what it's like to have those religious arguments, C vs. Assembly vs. C++, what is the best editor, what is the best way to optimize code, what is the "right" way to do something and the "wrong" way to do something, etc.

A little story... There's an Embedded Systems Meetup group in Colorado Springs. I had been invited to attend by a couple of Atmel colleagues. So I finally went. There was a little presentation in that group by a couple of guys. They wanted to make a "camera trigger" (sorry, I don't the actual term they used, I'm not a camera enthusiast as witness by my lack of pictures in my avatar), because they wanted to take pictures of lightning. They needed a light sensor, do some processing on the data and then trigger a digital camera fast enough to take a picture of lightning. They used an Arduino. They then showed the code they used which did some averaging on the light sensor data. Immediately, a couple of hands shot up from the audience... "That code is inefficient..." "You shouldn't average that way, you need to do it like this...", etc. These were from guys who were "real engineers" that worked at semiconductor companies (including Atmel in that). But you know what their response was? They had already tested it and it worked plenty fast enough for their purposes. So instead of buying a $300 commercial version of this, they can make it, and sell it for a lot less. They were planning on turning it into a real product and selling it.

There are two points in that. One is a technical one, which is: don't optimize too soon. They didn't need to optimize the code as it met their specification. The other is on a personal side: It's not about the "right" way of doing something. It's about implementing a vision or an idea. The engineering side of it are just the details. Yes, sometimes the details are important. But sometimes focusing on the details takes away the focus on the real mission: making an idea a reality.

Because the target audience of the Arduino is mostly non-engineers, what I have found is that these folks are more interested in doing something with the Arduino, or using the Arduino to help their project, then on the Arduino itself. They're more interested in their project, then what is the right way of doing it. If it works for them, they just use it.

As a consequence of that, Arduino is being used in all sorts of crazy, cool projects that I would have never dreamed up. But other people have, and because Arduino is simple to use, they just grab it and use it.

If you're interested, I could point to some really neat projects.

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I'm going to move this post to the AVR Forum where more people will see it. It's really not off topic.

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Yup. It will be really good to know more crazy and freak projects. Waiting for your follow up post EW!

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Good points you make!

I heard a story, 24th hand or so, told by one of the early guys who made a Fortran compiler. "I'd spent a week optimizing this loop. 10 YEARS later, I was analyzing a crash report, and discovered a mistake in my optimized loop! What did I learn from this? This loop hadn't been executed in 10 years! I wasted a week optimizing it."

On the other hand, at my former job, they hired a fellow to help me with some .net and web stuff. He was pretty slick with .net and quickly understood our database arrangement. He was having a little trouble with one operation that was taking an annoyingly long time. He was showing me his code, he'd isolated it to a pretty small section. He'd stuffed some data into a collection and then looped through something else looking up each item in his collection. "You have this sorted, why not just do a binary search?" "A what?" So I showed him how to do a binary search and the operation was hundreds of times faster. Actually, I was a little distraught that the class hadn't taken care of that for him.

I used to be a rabid reader of "Dr. Dobbs' Journal of Cybernetic Orthodontia." Once there was an article where a guy was praising LISP for how easily it solved a complicated problem for him. Why, in just 3 minutes it calculated all the possible permutations of 26 letters taken 5 at a time. He explained his solution:

A) Calculate a random combination of 5 letters.
B) Look up in the list to see if it matches any previous combination.
C) If it's not in the list, add it.
D) After a long time, output the list

I couldn't let this pass unchallenged. All you need is a 5 digit base 26 count. I stored the count in an array of 5 characters and coded up a 5 line "Modula II" procedure. In just seconds, the kids' 80386 computer that they used for playing "Commander Keen" listed all the possible combinations.

This became a letter to the editor

The largest known prime number: 282589933-1

It's easy to stop breaking the 10th commandment! Break the 8th instead. 

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Quote:

"Dr. Dobbs' Journal of Cybernetic Orthodontia."

"Dr. Dobb's Journal of Computer Calisthenics & Orthodontia" perhaps? ;-)

My only reservation about what Eric says is the following: Anyone can fly a plane. It takes about 3 hours to learn how to control a Cessna 152 to the point where you could take off and land (maybe 5 to perfect the landing thing). So why does it take 40-50 hours to get a pilot's licence? Well it's because you spend the rest of the time learning to do other stuff like communicate and navigate and most importantly 20+ hours on the safety procedures and what to do when problems occur - how to get down when the engine fails and stuff like that. Sure get these kids in the air after five hours but we could have a lot of very dangerous pilots flying into tall buildings or trying to land in fog or whatever if we ignore the other 35 hours of the training.

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Eric and Torby make excellent points.

You can get your ideas up and running and concentrate on your basic design. Don't get caught up with minutiae.
If you find that you need 'better' performance, ask for assistance.

Yes, I hope that a pilot has better training than an Arduino user.

David.

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Well, this is where analogies break down. Analogies, by definition, are not equivalent to the situation that they model. They are only ever close approximations, designed to only highlight a particular point or two. The map is never equivalent to the land that is traversed.

Yes, there is complexity in embedded systems; when you're designing an embedded system to solve a complex problem. Not all problems are complex.

But this very point that we're talking about, is academic. The problem is moot unless people actually run into it. Then they will need to confront that complexity. Until then, let it go. It is far better, I think, to dream up the next project you want to create, or turning your neat idea into a viable business.

Last Edited: Wed. Feb 6, 2013 - 05:27 PM
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Quote:
I hope that a pilot has better training than an Arduino user.

Um... The Aero Engr also!

Didn't you see the recent report on the Boeing 787 grounding based upon Arduino Timer/Counter CTC Mode 0 % output pulse "feature" compromising the collision avoidance system, as clearly illustrated below. ;)

JC

Attachment(s): 

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OK, sorry for derailing the Thread.

Congrats, Eric!

JC

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Ok, so I'm putting together some monthly highlights that I will be distributing internally. There's only some things that I can't post here due to Confidentiality.

Here's something simple, from my January 2013 list:

Apigy - Lockitron
https://lockitron.com

    Internet-enabled door locks. Lock door from anywhere in world
    Use smart phone to unlock
    Allow others to unlock
    Instant notifications
    Based on Arduino, ATmega
    Apigy Story
    http://vimeo.com/46228939
    Based in Palo Alto, CA
14,704 people reserved Lockitrons totaling $2,278,891 (via crowdfunding campaign)
Shipping late May 2013

A $2.2 million startup based on a simple idea. ;)

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Quote:

Well, this is where analogies break down.

I guess but would you employ an engineer in a software role who's entire history was based solely on the use of Arduino? I certainly would not. They may be a "free thinker" but if they don't have a formal training and follow rigorous engineering practices in design they are a loaded gun waiting to go off (he said slipping into yet another analogy ;-)).

Sure Arduino is great. It's got my brother and his son and one of my other nephews who's an adult and actually starting to design and manufacture some stuff interested in AVR based microelectronics. If it persuades my young nephew to go on and choose electronics/computing for his degree and he trains in rigorous engineering practice then that's a major plus for the industry I guess.

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clawson wrote:
Quote:

Well, this is where analogies break down.

I guess but would you employ an engineer in a software role who's entire history was based solely on the use of Arduino? I certainly would not.
Who is proposing that Arduino folks be hired as software engineers?

The Arudino is a new thing. It can supplant software engineers in some areas, but not in others. It also isn't 'toy software engineering' it is a way novices can get their hands on simple computer control functions without having to jump through all the hoops to become a software engineer.

And your aircraft pilot analogy breaks down with this:
I read this somewhere: It won't be long before airplanes will have a man and a dog in the cockpit. The man is there to feed the dog and the dog is there to bite the man if he touches the controls.

The point, of course, is that aircraft computer controls have gotten so sophisticated that the plane flies itself and while that is a bit scary, the evidence shows it will be safer than relying on pilots who might just be tired, drunk, or crazy.

Autopilots exceeding the ability of pilots is a new thing.

As is the Arduino.

Smiley

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Rigorous training and experience add 9's to product quality. I.e. does it work 9% of the time (high school), 90% (undergrad), 99% (graduate), ... 99.99999% (experienced pro).

Hopefully a $2M startup will employ a professional to ensure the quality/reliability of their product. Recalls and lawsuits can be lethal I'd guess.

(*) My numbers are PIDOOMA so should be viewed as estimates.

C: i = "told you so";

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I guess we have differing views of the merits of Arduino then. I see it as a toy. It's a great toy. It's like Spectrum, C64, VIC20, etc. we all played with as kids. It gets you interested in design and engineering to the point where you enthusiastic enough to consider taking the next step and training to do the stuff professionally. I'm not knocking it. Au contraire this is brilliant. We all miss the days of ZX81's and MK14's and finally someone's found something that serves the same job and gets people interested in this branch of engineering. But are we seriously suggesting that companies are going to be formed on the back of products based around Arduino boards? For one thing it does not make commercial sense. Most of the profit available has already been taken by the person who sold you the Arduino. If I can buy an Arduino Mega for <$15 on ebay then the person who made it bought the components for less than $10. So if I'm doing something commercial why don't I do the same and get that same $5 profit for myself? Also the generic design includes things like a USB-UART link from FTDI (or however that's implemented) that costs $2. If my final product doesn't actually use that (and most "boxed" Arduino based gadgets don't) then why would I be paying $2 per unit to fit something I don't need? Sure if I was making 10 or 50 of these devices than buying 10 or 50 complete Arduinos at $15 each might make sense but beyond that I'm not sure why I'd flush so much of my profit down the toilet? In the limit I'd pare back the components to the absolute minimum necessary and I'd likely design and have my own PCB made. In doing this I might 1/2 or 1/3 the board area and save another $0.50..$1 per unit.

So yes it's revolutionary but can you see someone making the next iPad or mobile phone with one in the middle?

Maybe this is one of the things we'll have to agree to disagree about? ;-)

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I guess it's kinda hard if you're the glass-half-empty sorta person to get over those personal challenges in order to make something positive happen. I don't know of a single business that was built on being a naysayer. Except maybe the insurance industry.

--------

Here's another: Pinoccio

A complete system for the Internet of Things
http://pinocc.io/
Arduino compatible, small boards
Contains an ATmega128RFA1
Completed crowdfunding campaign with time left
http://www.indiegogo.com/pinoccio
Highlighted in
Wired
Make:
Engaget

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clawson wrote:
I guess we have differing views of the merits of Arduino then. I see it as a toy. It's a great toy. It's like Spectrum, C64, VIC20, etc. we all played with as kids. It gets you interested in design and engineering to the point where you enthusiastic enough to consider taking the next step and training to do the stuff professionally. I'm not knocking it. Au contraire this is brilliant. We all miss the days of ZX81's and MK14's and finally someone's found something that serves the same job and gets people interested in this branch of engineering. But are we seriously suggesting that companies are going to be formed on the back of products based around Arduino boards? For one thing it does not make commercial sense. Most of the profit available has already been taken by the person who sold you the Arduino. If I can buy an Arduino Mega for <$15 on ebay then the person who made it bought the components for less than $10. So if I'm doing something commercial why don't I do the same and get that same $5 profit for myself? Also the generic design includes things like a USB-UART link from FTDI (or however that's implemented) that costs $2. If my final product doesn't actually use that (and most "boxed" Arduino based gadgets don't) then why would I be paying $2 per unit to fit something I don't need? Sure if I was making 10 or 50 of these devices than buying 10 or 50 complete Arduinos at $15 each might make sense but beyond that I'm not sure why I'd flush so much of my profit down the toilet? In the limit I'd pare back the components to the absolute minimum necessary and I'd likely design and have my own PCB made. In doing this I might 1/2 or 1/3 the board area and save another $0.50..$1 per unit.

So yes it's revolutionary but can you see someone making the next iPad or mobile phone with one in the middle?

Maybe this is one of the things we'll have to agree to disagree about? ;-)

I think that you might be looking at it all wrong.

Yes, there are some people that are actually building a business using Arduino boards. But that's not the power of Arduino....

That power of Arduino is that it is a big enabler of:
- a whole new class of people being able to add a bit of smarts to something
- new businesses
- and new, whole markets of businesses.

You may not see that. But I do. It's part of my job to seek this out.

You may argue about cost per unit, and you're right. But you're also forgetting cost of development. Other people may not have the same priorities as you.

Would they make the next phone with one? No, but Google has already released 2 versions of their Accessory Development Kit, over the last 2 years, as an Arduino-compatible board. This is nothing to sneeze at either.

It's easy for you, because of your past experience and your current skills. But there really is a wider world out there.

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I think each one sees arduino from his own point of view.
Clawson sees it as a toy based on his experiance and in relation to his profession and on the other hand you see it as a great tool that can bring many inexperienced users closer to AVRs which in turn is related to your job working in the marketing of Atmel.
If arduino was based on a mcu of a different company you would probably not find it as awesome as you do now :wink:

Alex

"For every effect there is a root cause. Find and address the root cause rather than try to fix the effect, as there is no end to the latter."
Author Unknown

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smileymicros wrote:
Autopilots exceeding the ability of pilots is a new thing.
The following was told to me by an airline captain:
On approach the flight crew received orders from the air traffic controller to move from the current runway to a nearby runway (they weren't close yet). The flight crew entered the new data into the flight control system (FCS); it immediately increased throttles resulting in a flaps over-speed. There was a mis-match between the mode the FCS went into (abort approach) and what the flight crew needed.
Another airline captain laments the excessive automation especially the effect on new first officers.
She'll fly the aircraft herself sometimes to get some stick time; she said simulation time is not enough.
The software we create can be deadly -
An airline's INS had a software bug and a software bug in the INS verification.
The interim result was a very incorrect acceleration into the control system causing a strong impulse from the control surfaces.
The final result was launching a flight attendant into the cabin's ceiling causing her serious injury.
I want pilots to always be able to wrestle away control from the autopilots ;-)

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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I tend to look upon Arduino with much more the view that it is a toy as well. It is not about about lack of capabilities. It is the fact that it does not encourage a smooth migration path to "real engineering." By real engineering, I mean only engineering that has reached a point that the idea is set ( and, perhaps, functioning ) but it needs to be more precisely implemented for performance, cost-saving, or other reasons. Arduino makes it easy to slap together something that will "do something," but it does not encourage rigorous design.

I see this sort of thing often with a university robotics group I'm involved with. Students will get started on a task using an Arduino, get part way through, and find that the don't have the processing power they need. It is a methodology problem. I sit down with them and we can work through simple ( algorithmic ) optimizations, that improve the performance vastly, allowing them to do what they want to do. They can get the idea, they can get it working -- after a fashion -- but they cannot take it all the way because they do not have sufficient training.

Certainly the sorts of robotics multiprocessing issues that that group runs into are not the typical applications of Arduinos in a maker environment -- the robots are much less forgiving of lax program design -- but it does seem very difficult for people to make the transition from thinking about the "what-to-do" into a mindset of "how-to-do."

In this way, the Arduino is a toy very much like Lego Mindstorms were. It is extremely powerful in its own right, and very easy to work with. It enables people to build amazing and innovative things with minimal training and with very short turnaround times. However, its style is to go for the quick hack and eschew careful design. Sometimes that works superbly -- evils of premature optimization and all that. Sometimes it does not.

In the end I would agree that the Arduino can fill a very important place in a developing EE or software developer, but it seems irresponsible to ignore the hurdles that the differing development approaches produce.

Martin Jay McKee

As with most things in engineering, the answer is an unabashed, "It depends."

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clawson wrote:
... But are we seriously suggesting that companies are going to be formed on the back of products based around Arduino boards?
Of course there are, Eric mentioned one, lots of others are on the crowd funding sites. Even the MakerBot started with Arduino is is now going pro quite successfully. And don't forget Chris Andersons Ardupilot, predator attack drones for the masses...

clawson wrote:
For one thing it does not make commercial sense... ... Sure if I was making 10 or 50 of these devices than buying 10 or 50 complete Arduinos at $15 each might make sense but beyond that I'm not sure why I'd flush so much of my profit down the toilet? In the limit I'd pare back the components to the absolute minimum necessary and I'd likely design and have my own PCB made. In doing this I might 1/2 or 1/3 the board area and save another $0.50..$1 per unit.
And this is where you are really missing the point. The Arduino is not a board. It is many things, the board, the library, the bootloader, the tons of working examples, and the community. But once you get an Arduino design working, you can implement it with an ATmega328 (for the smaller Arduino systems), use their bootloader, skip the USB port if you don't need it and assemble your own 'Arduino' on the PCB with the rest of the design. It is pretty simple actually.

The Arduino is often dismissed as a toy and I think that is silly. The Arduino library is probably the most tested bit of microcontroller software of all time - and tested by a group that is most likely to screw something up. If anything in the Arduino can be broken, it was broken long ago and fixed.

Professionals should use the most appropriate tools available to them and not get all sniffy. I use the Arduino to test concepts, just like I use Pelles C to test complex algorithms. That doesn't mean I'll try to sell a product built with either, but I will sell products that I used those very useful tools as part of the development.

Arduino is a tool. A very useful productivity tool and in so far as folks refuses to use tools that improve their productivity, to that extent they will fall behind.

Smiley

Last Edited: Thu. Feb 7, 2013 - 04:49 AM
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Eric,
Congrats again on the article. Cannot wait to read more of them.

After reading the back and forth I can see where Cliff looks at the Arduino as a toy because of what his abilities are. Which are extremely impressive so anything less than Cortex M3 must bore him to sleep. And when the Arduino first came out I thought that it was a novelty toy that would not last long. WRONG!!

Is it a toy? YES(huh) is it a tool? YES(Wha?) It is an educational tool that makes learning fun like playing with a toy. After my experience at Maker Faire this September past I was blown away at the stuff that was being CREATED using the Arduino. By the kids, and I conveyed that to Eric during the all too short conversation we had. The fact that these kids were building their own robots and learning a programming language rather than parking their A$$e$ in front of the television playing Halo or whatever shows the arduino's ability to spark interest and creativity in both young and old. The price is pretty damn reasonable as well considering what you are getting as noted with the communities, libraries, shields et al.

As I tool I agree with Smiley that it is a useful tool to test out a 'what if' concept that you may not want to try out on the master prototype but you could slap a shield on the Arduino and do your thing and then figure out from there if the 'what if' should go on the final masterpiece. While I was reading this thread I looked at the Arduino I have and on the underside it reads "Open Source Prototyping Platform". By rights with all the shields available one could build an entire product by connecting the shields one on top of the other program it and present a neat and clean proof of concept "prototype" to an investor rather than a rats nest of wires soldered together to sockets etc. Having PCboards is expensive especially in very small quantities.

Even the shield concept IMHO is a great time saver for putting together a small design as you are not having to solder/unsolder control or power wires. It's all done already and look at all the shields available to you so you don't have to go through the hassle of all the wiring that you may have to go over if things don't work on power up. It's already there.

This also make generating a schematic less tedious as well.

I agree with Smiley that the Arduino can/should be looked at in the professional world as a productivity tool. If it saves you time getting the project done faster then the job you may have just saved from going overseas could be your own.

I would rather attempt something great and fail, than attempt nothing and succeed - Fortune Cookie

 

"The critical shortage here is not stuff, but time." - Johan Ekdahl

 

"Step N is required before you can do step N+1!" - ka7ehk

 

"If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue!" - Kartman

"Why is there a "Highway to Hell" and only a "Stairway to Heaven"? A prediction of the expected traffic load?"  - Lee "theusch"

 

Speak sweetly. It makes your words easier to digest when at a later date you have to eat them ;-)  - Source Unknown

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB, RSLogix user

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Congrats Erik,

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jgmdesign wrote:

I agree with Smiley that the Arduino can/should be looked at in the professional world as a productivity tool.

So you mean that a prototype of an idea could be build using arduino boards and arduino language (if you mean native C then we are not really talking about arduino but just a dev board) and after the prototype seems to be worth developing dump all the previous arduino code and restart coding from scratch using native C?
Or keep using arduino code in the final product too?

Alex

"For every effect there is a root cause. Find and address the root cause rather than try to fix the effect, as there is no end to the latter."
Author Unknown

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Why not use the Arduino code in a final product?

The libraries are well known and tested.
Many of them are written more efficiently than some professional C code.

The limitations are well known too. So you simply re-write the 'bottlenecks' if they compromise performance.

I must admit that I tend to just write C on the Arduino hardware. However, I am honest enough to admit that the Arduino system will produce pretty good code.

Think about it. Serial.xxx() always uses interrupts. As does and many other libraries. How many 'professional' C products just use polling ?

If a non-engineer can prove a concept and get something working, he can also ask for and get advice and assistance too. Let's face it. If a system is well-designed, it is easy to find bottlenecks and fix them.

David.

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Quote:

Why not use the Arduino code in a final product?

Because it's not cost effective hardware? (my point above). Fine if you make 10. Not if you make 10,000.

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Cliff,

You build prototypes and develop with the Arduino.
Any final product is going to use custom pcb.

There is little doubt that the convenience of developing in this way will save time and cost.
Any final product has the same tooling and manufacturing cost however you did your development.

If the BOM is significantly reduced by using a mega168 instead of mega328, you weigh up this cost against extra development time for 'squeezing'. We always come down to 'is it worth it?'

David.

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Quote:

Any final product is going to use custom pcb.

Oh then I have misunderstood what's being suggested in this thread. I thought there was a suggestion that you actually produce a product with an Arduino board in the middle. I suppose the idea does seem a bit ludicrous when you look at it in the cold light of day.

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I have built things with ready-made 'controller boards' and ready-made 'display modules'. i.e. the exact components of the 'development setup'.

If a keypad gets unreliable, or display loses a segment, you just replace the standard module.

This is perfectly 'economic' for ten units. It might even be convenient for 100 units. Any more and you have a custom board. Replace the whole board every time.

So I can quite see ready-made Arduino components being used in small product runs. As with everything in life: "You do the sums"

David.

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There are many ways to do it.
- Arduino board, Arduino code.
- Arduino board, C code.
- Custom board, C code.
- Custom board, Arduino code.

The economics all depend on the margin that would be saved, number of boards that will be produced, development time and development cost. All of those factors are weighed.

And if you say, well someone is not going to do it a certain way because it is "inefficient", then you have to remember that a particular path or choice may NOT be efficient (time or cost) in the very beginning. Efficiencies may only be looked at after other more important tasks, such as actually making a product and building a business out of it.

Again, this goes into my whole point: Saying that something can't be done, or shouldn't be done, because it's the "wrong" way of doing it. Oh, it's inefficient! Oh? It shouldn't be done, then? Are they being stupid for doing it that way? They should be treated with disdain, then?

I understand that you want proof. Go take a look at the Desktop 3D Printer market in detail. I suggest you start with these 2 things:

Make: Magazine Special Issue on 3D Printers:
http://blog.makezine.com/volume/...

3D Printer Market Survey in 2012:
http://surveys.peerproduction.ne...

Dig deep.

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From business point of view (of a chipmaker) whether someone uses arduino, xyz, or blah platform, chipmaker still sells a chip or two per unit.

Efficiency, optimization, etc. are product maker's headache. If someone doesn't mind spending extra bucks rather than saving each penny; its okay, they chose to make one penny less profit.

IMHO, arduino is a tool and like any other tool comes with limited use in certain areas; prototyping, small run production, quick proof of concept, etc., in this case.

...and To Eric - Congrats !

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clawson wrote:
Quote:

Any final product is going to use custom pcb.

Oh then I have misunderstood what's being suggested in this thread. I thought there was a suggestion that you actually produce a product with an Arduino board in the middle. I suppose the idea does seem a bit ludicrous when you look at it in the cold light of day.
I'm in the process of discussing this very thing in my Nuts&Volts column. The following is for an Arduino based alarm clock:

In the first figure You take an Arduino + breadboard shield to test the design. Then you move the parts to a shield PCB to make a more rugged platform:

Next you design your custom PCB using the minimum Arduino components and the shield components shown below:

Please note that this is done in Fritzing and I haven't finished routing it yet. And, no I don't recommend Fritzing for professionals, but it is very useful for novices.

As you can see the Arduino part of this board is pretty much the minimum components for any microcontroller design. No $15 Arduino board needed. Maybe $2 in parts.

Smiley

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One year and counting.

So, whatever happened to the Pinoccio? I had a quick look at the web-site yesterday but it all seemed like "we're still working on it" and "we're learning how to do this".

Did I miss something somewhere?

As of January 15, 2018, Site fix-up work has begun! Now do your part and report any bugs or deficiencies here

No guarantees, but if we don't report problems they won't get much of  a chance to be fixed! Details/discussions at link given just above.

 

"Some questions have no answers."[C Baird] "There comes a point where the spoon-feeding has to stop and the independent thinking has to start." [C Lawson] "There are always ways to disagree, without being disagreeable."[E Weddington] "Words represent concepts. Use the wrong words, communicate the wrong concept." [J Morin] "Persistence only goes so far if you set yourself up for failure." [Kartman]

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I must have missed Smiley's post from Feb 07.

I think that this shows an excellent and practical way for a prototype to be developed and built.

The most appealing part of this approach is that you have no trailing wires to an external breadboard.

A prototype shield has pretty robust connection to the Arduino both elecrical and mechanical. The 'finished' prototype has soldered joints replacing the mini-breadboard.

I have never seen a Nuts&Volts. Perhaps I should look out for it !

David.