Description of Biomaker Starter Kit components

Guided Tour of the RICH UNO R3 Board

Get to know your multifunction Arduino board. This tutorial is a walk through all features of the Rich UNO Board, and dive into some basic concepts in electronics. If you look at the pin connections on the board you will see a few letters next to each pin. These are indications of what the pins can do, but they are not very explicit to someone who does not know much about electronics. This tutorial, we will decode these one by one, and by the end, you should know better what to plug where and why for your future circuits.

Rich UNO R3 Arduino board & parts

For 2019, we have introduced a new Biomaker Starter Kit, which is more compact and lower cost than the earlier version. The kit contains an extended Arduino board, components, small prototyping board and programmable display. It is based on the Open-Smart Rich UNO R3 board, which contains a variety of embedded components, including sensors, 7-segment 4 digit display, real-time clock, touch sensors, buzzer, mp3 player with microSD card holder and expansion shield. Importantly, the connections to the embedded components can be turned off using a DIP switch. The board is Arduino UNO compatible, and can be programmed directly from XOD.

Programmable touchscreen display

The Biomaker Arduino starter kit contains a 4D Systems µLCD-32DT-AR Arduino Display Module Pack, which includes a Gen4 µLCD-32DT 3.2" LCD display with resistive touch, a 4D Arduino adaptor shield and 5 way interface cable. The LCD display can be hooked up to the Arduino via a serial port. It is possible to build sophisticated user interfaces for Arduino-based instrumentation using graphical tools.

What is the Totem Maker Kit?

The Totem Maker Kit provides components and tools for building complex mechanical structures, prototype chassis and robots for DIY projects and STEM adventures. The kit includes 975 building pieces, beams and boards, tools for shaping beams, boards and strip brackets and assembly guide book packed into a compartmented box.

XOD: Visual programming for Biomaker

XOD is open source software development environment that can be used to programme the Arduino microcontroller board. It uses a graphical interface that represents hardware and computing elements as nodes that can be wired together to allow data flow between the objects. XOD allows a hierarchical and dataflow driven approach, avoids the complexities of text management and syntax, and can be used to directly programme Arduino boards. We think that this provides a simple way for non-programmers to develop useful skills.


Tutorials for the Biomaker Starter Kit

Getting started

Objectives: (i) install the software and drivers to allow XOD graphical programming of the Biomaker starter kit, (ii) test the connections and software installation by assembling and downloading several simple patches, (iii) enter parameter values for XOD nodes. (iv) Connect and control LED devices

Handling input and output devices with XOD

Objectives: Learn how to manage simple input and output devices, using XOD programming. Use onboard touch buttons, piezoelectric buzzer, connect extension shield, and connect to 16x2 I2C LCD text display.

Using devices on the Biomaker Rich UNO R3 board

How to connect to advanced devices on the multifunction Arduino board, including real-time clock, temperature sensor, 4-digit display, etc. Load external libraries in XOD

Connecting to digital sensors

(i) Digital DS18B20 temperature sensor specs, (ii) electrical connection and (iii) XOD interface. (iv) HC-SR04 sonar rangefinder device, connection and (v) output.

Robotics

How to use XOD to program the mBot robot system. (i) Robot assembly, (ii) driver installation and (iii) PID control, (iv) line following and (v) self-balancing on two wheels.


Gtronics Protoshield Plus

Tutorial on how to use the Gtronics Protoshield Plus "giant prototyping board", from the 2017-2018 Biomaker Challenges. Guide to components of earlier Biomaker Starter Kits, multifunction shields for teaching and modification of the Protoshield Plus to avoid port conflicts.