Thank you David Betz - PropLoader for Propeller Activity Board WX

Hey all, 
We owe a special note of appreciation to David Betz. 
David has been working behind the scenes with Jeff Martin on PropLoader so we can use this tool with our upcoming Propeller Activity Board WX. David has seemed to encounter, manage, and successfully navigate across several little hurdles recently. 
Thank you to David for holding the course on this project and contributing so much back to the community. 
Sincerely, 
Ken Gracey 

Comments

  • 13 Comments sorted by Date Added Votes
  • Yes, there are  great programmers in New England. :)
    Not there are not great programmers on the left coast,  England, Findland, Japan, and....
    Thanks to all!
    Jim
    Infernal Machine
  • What is a "Propeller Activity Board WX"? And why does it need a special loader? A Prop is a Prop? Or not?
    Curious minds want to know.
  • Thanks Ken! The Propeller Activity Board WX is a new version of the Activity Board that can be loaded over a WiFi connection using an Xbee S6B module. Jeff wrote a clever loader that uses a single UDP packet to deliver a tiny second-stage loader to the Propeller that can then handle an arbitrary size download. It's quite fast and the same technique can be used over a serial connection so it should speed up all Propeller image loading for boards that have a crystal or other accurate timing source. Thanks Jeff!
  • I'm amazed at this achievement.
    I do wonder where this goes though, That's a 100 dollar solution as far as I can tell.

  • Well, the AB WX probably isn't any more expensive to make that the original AB. You only have to add the Xbee module if you want to do WiFi. Maybe not that many people will want to do that but at least it's an option.
  • David BetzDavid Betz Posts: 11,227
    edited July 2015 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Actually, the real answer is that this probably isn't really intended for use from a desktop computer but rather from a tablet that doesn't even have a USB interface. Also useful for robots that you don't want to control over a tether.
  • My guesstimate of price was based on what exists now.
    "Maybe not that many people will want to do that..."
    Exactly. Where is the profit in this?

  • What is a "Propeller Activity Board WX"? And why does it need a special loader? A Prop is a Prop? Or not?
    Curious minds want to know.

    Here is one post:
    https://www.parallax.com/news/2015-01-26/wireless-programming-and-propeller-activity-board-wx-software-and-hardware

    and another half way down:
    https://www.parallax.com/news/2015-05-11/look-some-new-products-development-education-robotic-and-propeller-multicore-rd
    Infernal Machine
  • Actually, the real answer is that this probably isn't really intended for use from a desktop computer but rather from a tablet that doesn't even have a USB interface. Also useful for robots that you don't want to control over a tether.

    Sounds great to me, and a natural direction for modules to take.
    Makes Embedded development wireless, to a point.
    Very good for class rooms, and isolated updates and development.

  • This sounds really neat.  The second stage of the loader sounds very much like old school tftpd, is there any overlap between the designs?
  • This sounds really neat.  The second stage of the loader sounds very much like old school tftpd, is there any overlap between the designs?


    Tell me how tftp works and I'll tell you if it's similar.
  • My guesstimate of price was based on what exists now.
    "Maybe not that many people will want to do that..."
    Exactly. Where is the profit in this?


    Ah, heater, it's all just for fun and social networking - you [heater] will be able to connect your Propeller robot to FACEBOOK! Through their API, it's now possible for FaceBook to harvest everything they need about your robot, your computer, your keystrokes and your general identity. Your robot will soon "friend" other robots around the world. 
    To answer your question - our top products in terms of revenue and profit are for educational robotics. The ActivityBot is a mobile robot based on the Propeller Activity Board. When we can equip this product with wireless programming, robotics becomes much more productive and enjoyable. And finally, students expect everything to work magically (wireless) so we will be able to improve this product with these features. 
    Wireless programming + robots + software tools to support the whole thing = revenue, with profitable margins.

    Ken Gracey
  • Heater.Heater. Posts: 19,082
    edited July 2015 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Ken,
    Thank you for that explanation. 
    I have no idea by what magic you pull this off but  as long as it means Propellers are available an the Prop II is possible I'm all for it. 
    Of course I'm a bit worried about the " students expect everything to work magically ..." idea. If that were   made so why would they ever have to learn anything?
    You cast my mind back to 1980 something, watching a "Micro Mouse" competition at a Personal Computer World magazine show in London. There was a young boy, may be 10 or 12 years old whose robot entry was a Sinclair Spectrum lashed to a Tupperware box with sticky tape together with some wheels, sensors and associated electronics. I was stunned at the ingenuity of the thing. 
    Where am I going with that story from memory lane? No idea. But perhaps  spoon feeding students expectations kills creativity. 

     

     
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