153: Space Nerf Gun

Patrick Yeon of Planet Labs spoke with us about making satellites.

We discussed a method of using orientation to control drag to control speed. While Patrick wasn't sure what he could say about GPS receivers on satellites, another site describes them as part of the flock.

Sign up to get access to the huge Open California data set.

Planet has many applications and their blog shows off some interesting finds, such as identifying illegal gold mines encroaching on rainforests, quantifying ports with computer vision, counting trees and classifying agriculture crops, fire mapping, and cloud detection.

They are still hiring, apply using the email embeddedfm at planet.com will earn us (err, not you) more free tshirts.


152: Dodecahedrocopter.com

Chris and Elecia chat about hobbies and respond to listener feedback and questions.

Chris was on an episode of Let's Drone Out, you can listen to it here or search in your favorite podcast platform. It is recorded and broadcast live every Thursday at 8 P.M. (UTC+1) on Powering On.

Chris' new quadcopter is a Vortex 285. It runs Clean Flight, an open source flight controller software package.

While we had various opinions about RTOSs, we were both interested in the one Alvaro suggested to us: Zephyr Project.

As for other embedded podcasts, of course you know about The Amp Hour. And we had Saron of CodeNewbie podcast on, that show is mostly software and people. How about Macrofab Engineering? Or O'Reilly's HW podcast?

150: Sad Country Song

Torie Charvez spoke with us about what it takes to start and run your own business in the US. We talked about starting your own consulting company, selling your latest gadget, and all of the bookkeeping, tax issues, and details involved.

Torie's company is Tax Goddess. The write-off publication she mentioned is on the IRS site is Chapter 8 of Publication 535.

Elecia mentioned her Snow White's Guide to Your First Stock Options.

149: Flamethrowers Aside

Craig Smith (@OpenGarages) spoke with us about hacking the software in cars. 

His book is the Car Hackers Handbook. There is a 40% off coupon toward the end of the show.

OpenGarages is Craig's site to improve and encourage hacking. Some tools he recommends for getting started are USB2CAN and CANTact.

An older (shorter) version of the handbook is on OpenGarages.

I Am The Cavalry (iamthecavalry.org) is an excellent site for learning more about security. CERT.org is also good.

Theia Labs is Craig's company.


147: Bolts for Tuco

Micah Elizabeth Scott (@scanlime) joined us to talk about her new art and engineering projects.

Micah's site is misc.name/ and her YouTube channel is micahjd. She launched a Patreon page.

Wiggleport has its own site (wiggleport.org) and github (github.com/wiggleport). Check out the art in the repo! The Bela project on kickstarter has some overlap.

Micah will be keynoting the 2016 Open Source Hardware Summit in Portland in early October.

Her Eclipse project (video) was at the NEAT exhibition at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, CA. 

Micah has been on Embedded.fm before: 101: Taking Apart the Toaster (mostly about Coastermelt) and 41: Pink Universes Die Really Quickly (mostly about FadeCandy).

Micah mentioned Boldport and the kit-of-the-month club. (Video of her building the first one!) Also: the BigClive channel on YouTube.

Thank you to Planet.com for sponsoring the contest. Check out Planet.com/careers

One of Micah's videos explains the plasma-flame effects of this neat project.

146: The Loyal Opposition

Philip Freidin (@PhilipFreidin) spoke with us about his BLE platform OSHChip, debuggers, and consulting.

Planet Labs is sponsoring a contest! Hit the contact link to enter. Also check out their careers page and apply to embeddedfm@planet.com.

Both the OSHChip and the CMSIS-DAP SWD programming module are on Philip's Tindie store. While Keil is the suggested compiler for now,  you can also use mbed (tutorial). The system is wholly open source, you can find everything at github.com/oshchip. (Philip gave an HDDG talk about OSHChip; we didn't talk about it but I thought it was interesting.)

Philip's company is Fliptronics. Under Tips and Tricks, that site has his advice on consulting.

Philip brought an OSHChip (left), debugger (right), and his own additions to the lightning round (above).

145: This is Embedded

Kelly McEvers (@kellymcevers) joins us to talk about the definition of embedded.  Kelly McEvers is one of the hosts of All Things Considered, NPR's award-winning afternoon news magazine. She is also the host of a new podcast called Embedded which takes a story from the news and goes much deeper into it.  

Her Embedded podcast launches on March 31st.  Subscribe now on iTunes, listen on NPR.com or your favorite podcast app.

Kelly's Diary of a Bad Year: A War Correspondent's Dilemma is an amazing listen.

Kelly mentioned her interview of a drone pilot, Lt. Col. T. Mark McCurley, author of Hunter Killer. She also interviewed Sarah Pennypacker, author of Pax.

Elecia does not squee on air. But it was a near thing.

144: Asking For Clippy

Christopher and Elecia chat about the Hackaday prize, Unity class (and their games), the blog, hams, and IDEs.

Embedded.fm blog posts we discussed:

Sign up for the Embedded.fm newsletter to get blog content in your email box.

Hackaday Prize! Yay! Sign up early and often.

Chris and Elecia have been taking a Unity course on Udemy (pricing becomes more sensible after April 1). Elecia's game is live for the next 30 days, you can play it from your computer's browser (but not Chrome). Audio "enhances" the experience. Also: you were warned.

Atomic Game Engine is another game engine but open source.

Justin has 8 reels of 800 of Atmel AT32UC3A3256S-ALVR. Let us know if you'd like to be connected.

Elecia liked the Ed Emberley Make A World drawing book.

Bipedal robots at RobotShop.com for software programming or SparkFun's Redbot kit for more hardware oriented fun.

If you missed last year's April Fools Embedded.fm: The Elon Musk of Earth. Feel free to listen to it again on April 1 as there will be no such gag this year. 

143: I'm Thinking of Unicorns

Dan Luu (@danluu) spoke with us about processor features, startups vs large companies, error handling, and computer science research. 

Dan's blog is danluu.com. Some posts we talked about:

Dan mentioned some conference proceedings he monitors. For computer architecture:

For software engineering:

He also mentioned Operating System Design and Implementation OSDI: https://www.usenix.org/conferences/byname/179


142: New and Improved Appendages

Sarah Petkus offers to let her robot lick Christopher's leg. Christopher agrees reluctantly once we determine the saliva will be anti-bacterial hand sanitizer.

Sarah is a kinetic artist and some of her projects include a robot army (built your own from parts printed out or purchased at robot-army.com), Noodlefeet, and Carl (the flamingo of pendulum inversion). Her Zoness.com site is an umbrella for her drawn and robotic art. Specifically, you may enjoy her webcomic Gravity Roads, her YouTube channel, and/or her Robotic Arts blog.

Some other topics we discussed:

Also, please check out our new embedded.fm/blog or if you prefer email updates, sign up at embedded.fm/subscribe.

141: Malevolent and Trying to Trick You

Julia Evans (@b0rk) spoke with us about using profile analysis to debug programs.

Her PyCon 2015 talk was Systems Programming as a Swiss Army Knife (video).

Julia's blog is jvns.ca. Some of the posts we discussed include:

Julia's favorite conference to speak at is Bang Bang Con in New York City, May 7-8, 2016. Coincidentally, the call for proposals is open.

Also, please check out the Embedded.fm/blog!

140: Physics Is the Same Everywhere

Andrew "Bunnie" Huang spoke with us about manufacturing in China, writing books, and crowdfunding.

Bunnie's new book is The Essential Guide to Electronics in Shenzhen. It is available via crowdsupply and the price goes from $30 to $35 when pre-ordering ends on March 17, 2016.

Bunnie's blog is at www.bunniestudios.com, many of his professional projects can be found at www.kosagi.com including more information about the Novena open source laptop.

Hacking the XBox is available for free from No Starch Press.


139: Easy to Add Blood Splatter

Andrei Chichak and Chris Svec join us to talk about our new blog: Embedded.fm/blog (!!).

Andrei was on 114: Wild While Loops, about error handling, as well 99: You Can Say A Boat, about MISRA-C. Andrei has been teaching Embedded Wednesdays, an embedded systems class for the Edmonton New Technology Society. It uses the STM32F401C-Discovery board. His course materials are on his site (chichak.ca). 

Chris was on 78: Happy Cows, about empathy driven development. He's also working on a different embedded systems introduction (Embedded Software Engineering 101). His blog is chrissvec.com.

Our new blog will include their coursework, excepts from Elecia's new book on taking apart toys, project notes from Christopher, and various other news.


138: Quit Yer Whining

Chris (@stoneymonster) and Elecia (@logicalelegance) answer listener questions about BASIC and their meet-cute story. (Sadly those are unrelated. That would have been cute.)

Dennis Jackson at Airware is looking for a senior EE and an EE technician. Contact us and we'll connect you to Dennis so he knows to look out for you. Dennis' episode was 94: Don't Be Clever about drones, simple code, and learning.

As for other interviews, Elecia was on The Amp Hour and  The Engineering Commons Podcast. Elecia and Chris were both on The Amp Hour's 256th show

137: Pausing to Think

Dan Saks answers many questions about C++ in embedded systems: where it works, where it doesn't, and a path to getting started. 

Dan Saks is the founder and president of Saks & Associates. He was a columnist for The C/C++ Users Journal, Embedded Systems Design and several other publications. He also served as secretary of the ANSI and ISO C++ standards committee in its early years. 

We touched on some of his articles:

Andrei suggested Sams Teach Yourself C++ in One Hour a Day, Seventh Edition by Siddhartha Rao as a good primer for experienced C programmers reluctantly learning C++.

Like robots? Check out the job postings at iRobot. If you like what you see, email Chris Svec. (Yes, the guy who was on 78: Happy Cows.)

Contest for Making Embedded Systems will end Feb 5, 2016.

136: Let's Try out Some Broccoli

Inventor and Youtub-er, Simone Giertz (@SimoneGiertz) tells us about building robots to "help" her daily life.

Simone's YouTube Channel. Some of the videos discussed in the show:

Simone's blog, with additional robot build details is at simonegiertz.com

For relaxation, Simone visits the Hello Denizen YouTube channel and watches hamsters eating gourmet meals. She also mentioned her preferred Reddit feed.

Like robots? Check out the job postings at iRobot. If you like what you see, email Chris Svec. (Yes, the guy who was on 78: Happy Cows.)

Contest for Making Embedded Systems will end Feb 5, 2016.

135: No More Yoda Heads

Anh Bui, Vice President of @Benetech Labs, joined us to discuss using technology for good. 

Benetech is most widely known for Bookshare, an online library for people with print disabilities. Note that this is only open to people with print disabilities per the Chafee Amendment (copyright exceptions with cause). There are some public domain books you can search through on the site.

Martus is another of Benetech's core programs, in their human rights and civil liberties program. It is an open source, secure information collection and management tool.

Poet Image Description Tool is a Benetech tool to aid in making visuals more accessible to everyone.

Some accessibility guidelines and techniques:

Enabling The Future is the group that 3D prints prosthetic limbs.The Dean Kamen water filtration system is called Slingshot.

Hackaday Prize (2016 announcement is coming!)

For more information about the embedded software position at Avid Identification Systems, please email Mark (Engineering Manager) and CC Karen (HR Manager).