Birmingham City University Techfest 2016

Birmingham City University are set to run their sixth annual Techfest at the City Centre Campus, Millennium Point, Birmingham. On Saturday 25 June 2016, the University will be host to a celebration of technology, engineering and science.

As with previous events there will be a variety of activities during the day which is expected to include robotics contests for mini-sumo, line-followers, wall-followers, drag-racers and, of course, the UK international micromouse contest.

Students will have projects on display and there will be support from professional bodies and commercial sponsors.

You can get full details and register for the contests (it is free) at the Birmingham City University Techfest site:

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Vancouver Micromouse Contest

If you find yourself anywhere near Vancouver around Jun 11-12 2016, call in at the Vancouver Mini Maker Fair where Marginally Clever Robots is hosting a contest. There will be plenty to see and several classes of robot contest.

Get the full details at the Marginally Clever Site.

Posted in Micromouse | 2 Comments

Minos 2016 Schedule

We are about ready for Minos 2016 which will take place on Saturday April 16th at Birmingham City University’s Millennium Point Campus. The provisional schedule looks like this:
10:30 Registration and Coffee
10:50 Welcome and Administrivia
11:00 Duncan Louttit
11:10 Luzhou Ye
11:20 - High Efficiency Power Supplies
11:40 Peter Harrison
11:50 - Contest Roundup
12:10 Duncan Louttit
12:20 Contest organisation
12:40 Lunch
13:20 Duncan Louttit
13:30 - Wycombe Warriors; a new robot building group and how it was started.
13:50 Ian Butterworth
14:00 - R.I.P Ferris
14:10 Rob Probin
14:20 - Overview of options for real-time Linux
14:40 Alan Dibley
14:50 - 3D printing in LARGE font
15:00 Show and Tell
15:10 - Glue Gun Injection Moulding, Making Fans . . .
15:50 Break
16:00 Bernard Grobowski
16:10 - Fun With Foam
16:30 Harjit Singh
16:40 - Zeetah Update

Nothing is finalised so any suggestions are welcome. We can decide on evening/Sunday arrangements during Saturday.

For full details of the event location see the original post at


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APEC 2016 Micromouse Contest Results and Video

The 2016 APEC micromouse contest was held at the Long Beach Convention Center, California on March 21st. A total of twelve mice took part with entries from around the globe. Here is a summary of the results and a look at the maze. Continue reading

Posted in Apec, Micromouse | 2 Comments

TDD with GoogleTest and Netbeans

With googletest set up for use with the the Netbeans IDE it is relatively easy to start working on your code using Test Driven Development Methods. This article shows you how to develop a simple set of library functions using TDD. Continue reading

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Googletest in Netbeans for Test Driven Development

Netbeans is my favoured IDE for C/C++ development. It has some support for test driven development but not for Googletest which I like for its simplicity. Find out how to use Googletest in Netbeans for embedded TDD. Continue reading

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PWM basics on the STM32 general purpose timers

The STM32 Family processors include general purpose timers that have a nice PWM function that can handle four channels of independently controlled duty cycles. In this article I will look at how to set these up for basic use suitable for the majority of applications that need PWM signals. Continue reading

Posted in ARM, STM32, STM32 TIM3 | 1 Comment

clock pulses with variable phase on STM32

The CCRx registers can be set to directly produce regular clock pulses on one or more of the output pins. Square waves are especially simple and up to four channels can have variable phase relationships. Continue reading

Posted in ARM, STM32, STM32 TIM3 | 2 Comments

TIM3 Output Compare on the STM32 Family

TIM3 is a general purpose timer found on all the STM32 family processors. Among other features, it has four capture compare channels that can be used to generate regular interrupts. In this article I will show you how to set up simple interrupt events based on these features. Continue reading

Posted in ARM, Hardware, STM32 TIM3 | 1 Comment

TIM3 ARR Gives Regular Interrupts on the STM32F4

The simplest way to produce regular interrupts from a timer like TIM3 on the STM32 family of processors is to set up the Auto Reload Register (ARR) to generate an update event. This article shows you how to correctly set up the clock source, prescaler and ARR to get regular events over a wide range of frequencies. Continue reading

Posted in ARM, Hardware, STM32 TIM3 | 5 Comments