Quad-core Microprocessor / by Alexander Hadik

An on going project of mine at the moment is a team project at Brown University for the IEEE Micro-Mouse competition. This is a common robotics competition format, where teams design and build a robot that can autonomously navigate a maze to a target in the fastest time possible. 

With the competition approaching in April, we're looking for ways to break away from the constraints of Arduino; one of the more common tools used by teams. As an alternative, we're exploring the Parallax Propellor Quad-core microprocessor. Not only does this micro-processor outstrip common Arduino chips, but designing the PCB ourselves, we're able to swap in larger amounts of RAM, and other improvements.

Our most recent milestone was getting the microprocessor running and interfacing with an IDE running on OS X 10.9. Luckily, the great community surrounding Parallax offered an OS X alternative to Parallax's Windows only IDE, but compilation was not a total breeze, with drivers needed for communication with the chip's serial ports, among other obstacles. However, the chip is now up and running at full speed, and we're excited to explore its full power.