Deskpet Planning – Part A

I am working on the design for the Deskpet, and decided to build a prototype with a minimal configuration to get started. I plan to use an ATMega128 processor because I have several laying around. Here are the required input and outputs:


  • Color/Line sensor
  • Linear Hall effect sensor
  • 2 way IR proximity sensor
  • Ambient light level sensor
  • Wireless data
  • Battery level sensing
  • Battery charge input
  • Pushbutton


  • 2X Motors
  • Speaker
  • Wireless Data
  • OLED “face”

And here’s what I have so far for each:

Color/Line Sensor:

NECM005 RGB LED and TEMT6000 light sensor

Linear Hall Sensor:

Not sure yet. I like the 3 pin SIP devices from Allegro, but they need 4.5V. I would like to keep everything possible running from a 3V or maybe 3.3V supply.

IR Proximity Detect

2X IR LED’s and IS471F modulated detector. Could also be used for IR homing beacon for charging station. To avoid interference with the proximity detect, sending a specific pulse from the LEDs would trigger the charging station to transmit a response.

Light Level

CDS Cell or TEMT6000 light level sensor

Wireless Data:

Nordic nRF24L01 board from Sparkfun

Battery Level:

Voltage divider to ADC on the main processor

Battery Charging Circuit:

MAX1555 Lithium charge controller


SMT Momentary Normally Open SPST

2X Motors:

LB1836M Low Voltage Dual H-Bridge and 2X GM10 geared pager motors


Citizen Micro Speaker from Electronics Goldmine.

OLED “face”:

uOLED96 from 4DSystems. I have an older version than the one shown in the link with 8MB internal flash, and no uSD slot.

Still left to work on:

  • Battery – Size and mounting locations
  • Charging method – How does the robot find & connect to the charger?
  • Decide on a Hall Sensor
  • Find an LED charge pump since the G and B LEDs require 3.6 V

The display is on it’s way

I ordered the OLED last friday. The US distributor was out of stock, so I had to order from Australia. Here is a 1:1 mock-up I did to get an idea of the display size:

I spent quite a while on Sat. night grabbing pics of pocket watch dials from eBay and resizing them.

OLED info and demos

There is a demo of the 128 x 128 OLED here. It has the same drivers as the 96 x 64 version that I am using. Check out the unicorn animation near the end. I am hoping I can animate an imp and have the option of having a Dis-organizer.


PDA, take two (or is it three?)

While I have been thrilled with the success of the 128×128 LCD, I happened upon an oLED display today that would allow the whole thing to be miniaturized to the point it would fit in a pocket watch:

Pocketwatch PDA