Arduino’s idea is to hide the processor and complex C features, working with pins and libraries. Pinguino do the same, but it is also a powerful pedagogical tool to learn embedded systems and C. The Kidules follow this objective, and associate to the learning steps dedicated hardware that allows to concentrate on the software. Once the C and hardware features of the processor are mastered, any application with any C compiler can be envisioned, part of the application being initially tested on the Kidules.
The Ki18F2550 board features two 8-bit ports on which application and test circuits are connected. Each slave module has a simple and clear functionality:
- the Dice with 7 leds and a push-button helps with the understanding of bits and bytes. Using tables and byte access replace the writing of pages of digitalWrite (..); instructions.
- the Traffic light is good to think about specifications, before its easy programming.
- the Elevator has a motor and 3 sensors. It prepares for robots and exercises the notion of state machines
- the Clock helps understanding stepping motors. I2C clock circuit is an option.
Other Kidules allows to understand motors, sensors, internal PIC registers and their configuration. See www.didel.com/kidules/
The Kidules are specially suited for the first part of a Robotic or Embedded system lab.
The KiCar (not shown) is similar to the Ki2550, with ports for motors and sensors, ready to control a robot avoiding obstacles.
Documentation is mostly in French now. Ask to be updated : firstname.lastname@example.org .