DIY: My Robot Blimp

Thanks Richard for sending this interesting project in! See more on Richard’s blog

The group wanted to come up with some ideas that could help firefighters while they fight forest fires. While many of the ideas were good, they all had one thing in common. They needed something high over the fire to help relay radio transmission, get a better image of what is going on with the fire, and to provide real time data to the ground crew. We thought that a robot blimp could do all of that rather well and set out to see if it was possible.

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Featured Adafruit Products!

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Adafruit Pro Trinket – 5V 16MHz : Trinket’s got a big sister in town – the Pro Trinket 5V! Pro Trinket combines everything you love about Trinket with the familiarity of the common core Arduino chip, the ATmega328. It’s like an Arduino Pro Mini with more pins and USB tossed in, so delicious.

Trinket’s a year old now, and while its been great to see tons of tiny projects, sometimes you just need more pins, more FLASH, and more RAM. That’s why we designed Pro Trinket, with 18 GPIO, 2 extra analog inputs, 28K of flash, and 2K of RAM.

Like the Trinket, it has onboard USB bootloading support – we opted for a MicroUSB jack this time. We also added Optiboot support, so you can either program your Pro Trinket over USB or with a FTDI cable just like the Pro Mini and friends.

The Pro Trinket PCB measures only 1.5″ x 0.7″ x 0.2″ (without headers) but packs much of the same capability as an Arduino UNO. So it’s great once you’ve finished up a prototype on an official Arduino UNO and want to make the project smaller.

The Pro Trinket 5V uses the Atmega328P chip, which is the same core chip in the Arduino UNO/Duemilanove/Mini/etc. at the same speed and voltage. So you’ll be happy to hear that not only is Pro Trinket programmable using the Arduino IDE as you already set up, but 99% of Arduino projects will work out of the box!

For tons more details, check out the Introducing Pro Trinket tutorial

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