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Make It Last

The Make It Last Build Series, Sponsored by Microchip and Energizer

Welcome to Make It Last, a project build series and contest, sponsored by Microchip and Energizer. Over the course of this contest, we’re going to cover a series of three project builds, demonstrating some of the finer points of low-power microcontroller design. We’re hoping these will be fun, informative projects and a good introduction to using “bare” microcontrollers and learning more about the relationship between microcontrollers and power management. Starting with basic components, we will build up each design and you can follow along in a series of Make It Last build newsletters. We will be awarding some really cool prizes at the end of each build, based on the quality of your submission, what you learned in the process, your documentation, etc. All you have to do is post your Drawbot images on our MAKE Flickr pool, tagged “makeitlast”.

Third Build: The Drawbot

[January 27 - March 3, 2011]

We’ve got an exciting third build for you called the Drawbot. With two stepper motors, some monofilament line, a binder clip, a Sharpie and a microcontroller, the Drawbot draws cubic Bezier curves, circles and can move from one point to another accurately. Here’s a video of the Drawbot in action!

The third build of our Make It Last series will be a simple drawing. To be eligible for the drawing, post your Drawbot images on our MAKE Flickr pool, tagged “makeitlast”. We will draw a first and second place winner from that tag pool.

The prizes for the third build are as follows.

First Prize

  • MPLAB® ICD 3 In-Circuit Debugger
  • Explorer 16 Demo Board
  • F1 Evaluation Platform
  • MPLAB® Starter Kit for PIC24F
  • MCP 1640 Single Cell Boost Converter for Energizer® MAX AlkalineAAAA
  • Energizer® Night Strike Swivel Light
  • $50 Maker Shed Gift Certificate

And the second prize winner will take home:

  • F1 Evaluation Kit
  • MPLAB® Starter Kit for PIC18F MCU
  • MCP 1640 Single Cell Boost Converter for Energizer® MAX AlkalineAAAA
  • Energizer® Night Strike Swivel Light
  • $25 Maker Shed Gift Certificate

Links

Here’s a handy checklist of Build Series links:

Read back issues of the Make It Last Newsletter

And the blog posts about the contest:


Second Build: The Robotic Plant

For the second project, we built a robotic plant seedling that used its microcontroller brain to monitor its environment, and bloom when the time is right. The whole project was housed in an ordinary plant pot, and thanks to an energy-efficient design, is able to lie dormant for months, even years, on a single set of AA batteries. That means you could set it by your window and be delighted when it finally wakes up, or give it as a gift to a patient robot enthusiast for safekeeping.

The prizes for the second build are as follows. The entry that gets the most points will win a prize package consisting of the following items:

Links

Read the Make It Last Build Series Newsletter for Build #2:

And the blog posts about the Second Build:


First Build: The Data logger

The first project in the build is a data logger. This is a battery powered device that can periodically sample the temperature and record it for later analysis. It’s basically like a thermometer combined with a recording device- you could track the temperature of your home, refrigerator, personal volcano, or anything else over a long period of time, using a single set of batteries. To save battery power, the device will spend most of its time in a reduced-power ‘sleep’ mode, only waking itself up every so often measure a temperature probe before going back to sleep.

Links

Read the Make It Last Build Series Newsletter for Build #1:

And the blog posts about the First Build:



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