MSP430-based Robot Applications

MSP430-based Robot Applications

A Guide to Developing Embedded Systems

1st Edition - February 22, 2013

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  • Author: Dan Harres
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780123970121
  • eBook ISBN: 9780123972965

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This book provides a careful explanation of the basic areas of electronics and computer architecture, along with lots of examples, to demonstrate the interface, sensor design, programming and microcontroller peripheral setup necessary for embedded systems development. With no need for mechanical knowledge of robots, the book starts by demonstrating how to modify a simple radio-controlled car to create a basic robot. The fundamental electronics of the MSP430 are described, along with programming details in both C and assembly language, and full explanations of ports, timing, and data acquisition. Further chapters cover inexpensive ways to perform circuit simulation and prototyping. Key features include: Thorough treatment of the MSP430’s architecture and functionality along with detailed application-specific guidance Programming and the use of sensor technology to build an embedded system A learn-by-doing experience With this book you will learn: The basic theory for electronics design                  - Analog circuits                  - Digital logic                  - Computer arithmetic                  - Microcontroller programming How to design and build a working robot Assembly language and C programming How to develop your own high-performance embedded systems application using an on-going robotics application

Key Features

  • Teaches how to develop your own high-performance embedded systems application using an on-going robotics application
  • Thorough treatment of the MSP430’s architecture and functionality along with detailed application-specific guidance
  • Focuses on electronics, programming and the use of sensor technology to build an embedded system
  • Covers assembly language and C programming


Professional electronics engineers, embedded designers and programmers; students taking a course using microcontrollers. Individuals with an electronics background who may (or may not) have previous experience with microcontrollers, but who are just getting started with the TI MSP430 microcontroller

Table of Contents

  • Dedication


    Chapter 1. Introduction

    Expected reader background

    The parts of a robot

    Where to get help

    Tools you will need


    Chapter 2. Mechanical and Electrical Disassembly of the RC Car

    Mechanical disassembly

    Electrical inspection

    Electrical disassembly

    Chapter 3. Beginning Electronics – Resistors, Capacitors, and Inductors

    Some basic laws

    Resistors, capacitors, and inductors

    Chapter wrap-up


    Chapter 4. Basic Electronics – Semiconductors

    P–n junctions

    The diode

    The bipolar transistor

    Metal oxide semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET)

    The operational amplifier

    The H-bridge

    Semiconductor wrap-up


    Chapter 5. DC Motors

    Learning by doing

    Beakman’s motor

    Improving on Beakman’s motor

    Is a DC motor also a DC generator?

    Powering the motor

    The analog DC motor drive

    Brakeable and reversible PWM motor drive



    Chapter 6. Inexpensive Ways to Perform Circuit Simulation

    Circuit simulation history

    Modern circuit simulation programs

    Simulations wrap-up

    Chapter 7. Computer Logic

    The birth of integrated circuits

    The advent of logic

    Why is it called logic?

    Some algebraic identities

    Logic optimization

    Advanced topics in computer logic

    Electronic implementation of logic

    A logic example – the adder

    The Exclusive-Or gate

    The multiple-bit adder

    Flip-flops and registers

    Logic chapter wrap-up


    Chapter 8. Computer Arithmetic

    Getting started with binary

    Converting from binary to decimal

    Converting from decimal to binary


    Fractional numbers

    Negative numbers





    Hexadecimal and octal

    Floating-point arithmetic


    Chapter 9. Introducing the MSP430 Microcontroller

    What is a central processing unit and how does it work?

    What does an MSP430 instruction look like?

    How does the microcontroller talk to the peripherals?


    Is there more than one type of MSP430 and what are the differences?

    What is the MSP430 launchpad?

    Which MSP430 types does this book focus on?

    Choosing the programming language



    Chapter 10. Getting Started with MSP430 Assembler

    The TI MSP430x2xx family user’s guide

    The MSP430 datasheets

    Registers and memory

    Addressing memory and registers in assembly language

    Instruction set


    Chapter 11. Running Assembly Language Programs

    Getting started

    A second programming example – the software multiply


    Chapter 12. Programming the MSP430 in C

    The multiply program in C

    C programming wrap-up


    Chapter 13. System Clocking for the MSP430

    Back to hardware!

    System clocking in a computer


    Chapter 14. Parallel and Serial Input/Output Ports

    Parallel I/O

    Serial I/O

    Digital I/O wrap-up


    Chapter 15. Timers and Counters

    Capture – timestamping events

    Timer compare mode

    Timers and counters wrap-up


    Chapter 16. Data Acquisition

    Digital-to-analog converters

    Using superposition to analyze D/A circuits

    Analog-to-digital conversion

    Successive approximation guessing


    Chapter 17. Circuit Building

    Types of circuit construction

    Where to buy parts


    Chapter 18. Using Sensors to Avoid Collisions

    Ultrasonic generation and detection

    Optical generation and detection

    Combining sensors for improved avoidance decisions


    Chapter 19. Measuring Speed

    Ways to measure vehicle speed

    Other optical methods for measuring speed

    Reducing the effect of ambient lighting

    Speed measurement example


    Chapter 20. Creating High Voltage

    The charge pump

    Inductor-based boost circuits

    Negative feedback maintains the proper output voltage


    Chapter 21. Remote Controls

    RF remote controls

    Optical remote controls

    Improving interference immunity through modulation

    Robot remote transmitter

    Robot remote receiver

    Remote control wrap-up


    Chapter 22. Troubleshooting

    Learning to troubleshoot is invaluable

    Strategies for troubleshooting

    Specific troubleshooting tips

    Troubleshooting wrap-up


    Chapter 23. Creating a Real-Time Operating System

    Juggling multiple tasks using a real-time operating system


    RTOS wrap-up


    Chapter 24. Putting it all Together

    Final hardware

    One remaining software task: high-level control

    The complete program

    Programming and circuit wrap-up

    Future robot peripherals

    Learn and enjoy!

    Appendix – Program Listing


Product details

  • No. of pages: 416
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Newnes 2013
  • Published: February 22, 2013
  • Imprint: Newnes
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780123970121
  • eBook ISBN: 9780123972965

About the Author

Dan Harres

Dan Harres has 36 years of engineering experience with McDonnell Douglas Corp., Boeing Company, and ITT Electro-Optics Corp., and is the inventor of 29 US patents and patents pending. He has authored around 30 technical magazine articles and conference papers, and chaired the IEEE Avionics, Fiber Optics, and Photonics Conference in 2009-10. His principal areas of work are analog circuit design, microcontroller applications, and fiber optics system design.

Affiliations and Expertise

Technical Fellow, Boeing Company, Belleville, IL, USA.

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