Posts from: September, 2008

Getting BS2 running on OSX

Friday, September 5th, 2008

Some quick notes on what I did to get Basic Stamp 2 modules running on a USB Board of Education development board running on OSX Tiger.

  1. Download FTDI virtual COM port drivers. Drivers for OSX Intel are about half way down the page. This driver is needed for the computer to talk to the serial interface of the stamp via the mini USB connection on the Board of Education development board.
  2. Mount the disk image and double-click the package to install. This will require a restart.
  3. Download MacBS2. This program allows you to program the stamp from OSX . The official editor only works on windows.
  4. Install MacBS2 by dragging it to your Applications folder.
  5. Start MacBS2 by double-clicking. It will offer to automatically install the PBasic tokeniser for you. Say yes.
  6. Attach your Board of Education to the USB port of the computer and power it with a battery or power pack.
  7. In MacBS2, choose the serial port from the drop-down on the top-right side. It will probably look something like ‘usbserial-…’.
  8. you should be able to click the ‘ID Stamp’ button to check that the stamp is connected and responding.
  9. Type in a simple program (e.g. DEBUG “Hello World”) and click the ‘Run’ button to download it to the stamp. You should see ‘Hello World’ printed in the console at the bottom of the window.

Sonification of Fencing movements

Monday, September 1st, 2008

Two fascinating projects involving audio feedback from an industrial design student at the Technical University, Eindhoven, Bram van der Vlist.

Extend your senses project (image credit Bram van der Vlist)

Extend your senses project (image credit Bram van der Vlist)


The image above comes from a project called ‘Extend Your Senses‘. In this project, Bram explored how sound could be used to provide athletes with added feedback about the movements they made. The sounds were generated based on signals from acceleration sensors attached to the equipment or bodies of athletes. The intention was that the audio feedback could support the athletes in learning and refining their movements, especially in relation to the kinaesthetic sense. This is the sense we have of the relative position of the parts of our body.

Bat Biker project, (image credit Bram van der Vlist)

Bat Biker project, (image credit Bram van der Vlist)

In another project, called Bat Biker, Bram developed a system to give feedback for blind mountain bikers. In the design, the bike in front is ridden by a sighted cyclist and equipped with a loud-speaker that changes sound depending on the kind of terrain the bike was riding over. The cyclist on the bike riding behind could learn to interpret these sounds and adapt their riding accordingly.