Fri 8 Feb 2008
The X-PIC Development System was designed by my colleague and friend Alberto Calvo and me during our studies at University. It is composed of two main boards: X-PIC and X-BOT which I will describe briefly. Our goal was to design a microcontroller based system powerful enough for our Robotics projects. However, we realized that it could be a good idea to design a more generic system which could be used as a small development platform without the need to have a big amount of LED’s, buttons, LCD, switches, jumpers, etc. as most boards use to have. So it is suitable for any projects which require a microcontroller.
This is the main board. It has got a PIC16F877A microcontroller at a clock frequency of 20MHz. There’s also an EEPROM serial memory which can be interfaced both externally and through the microcontroller. All the GPIO pins can be easily accessed through the 10-Pin connectors, all of them including VCC and GND signals.
For testing purposes, the board’s got a general purpose button and one LED. It can be programmed through its ICSP connector or through its RS232 interface if a bootloader is previously loaded into its internal Flash memory.
This board was designed specifically for Robotics applications and can be easily connected to the X-PIC board and mounted together. It’s got eight connectors which allow the microcontroller to read their value through selectable digital or analog IO pins. Also it includes two DC Motor drivers to drive up to 4 motors (1A per channel) which make this board suitable for a huge number of Robotics and Electronics applications.
As an extension to this system we designed the X-TRK sensor board specially aimed to Sniffer Robots. It can drive up to 8 IR sensors with just 4 IO pins thanks to its 3 to 8 line decoder. In the picture you can see a 3D version of the board, which has not been yet manufactured (just two home-made protoypes).
You can download all the documentation and schematics in Spanish (sorry for the inconvenience):