So you've got a Wixel in your hot little hands
, what do you need to make it do something?
Of course you don't need a Wixel to proceed, this instructable will introduce you to most of the capabilities of a Wixel.
As I mentioned I have been learning the Arduino so I will be focusing on this platform, you could use Wixels with other microcontrollers, or just use the built-in TI CC2511F32 microcontroller, but I don't want to learn a new platform just now.
So you will need an Arduino or compatible microcontroller for the more complex examples. I have a Duemilanove, but a new Uno is good, or you can get cheap bare bones kits, just search instructables for 'Arduino' and you will see lots of options. See http://www.arduino.cc/
if you are unfamillier with this platform.
Note: This is not
an Introduction to Arduino, again search and you will find many 'ables to help you out.
For the examples in the following steps you will need;
2 x Wixels, http://www.pololu.com/catalog/product/1336
1 x USB A to Mini-B cable or adapters, http://www.pololu.com/catalog/product/130
(or the Combo Deal http://www.pololu.com/catalog/product/1338
1 x Arduino microcontroller, with USB cable or programmer/FTDI cable to suit, http://www.pololu.com/catalog/product/1616
1 x Windows PC/Notebook with two USB ports (with Arduino software installed),
2 x Medium Prototyping breadboards (270+ points, but I'd get 400 points), http://www.pololu.com/catalog/category/28
Various prototyping wires such as
4 x AA batteries, either normal 1.5V AA, or rechargable 1.2V AA (http://www.pololu.com/catalog/product/1003
1 x Four AA battery pack, with bare wires for breadboard connection,
This one has a switch built in http://www.pololu.com/catalog/product/1159
I have one without a switch, so I used this http://www.sparkfun.com/products/102
(or a breadboard connectable 5V regulated
1 x 1.2k Ohm resisters,
1 x 2.2k Ohm resisters,
(If you're just starting & don't have resisters I recommend this kit http://www.sparkfun.com/products/9258,
or get individual packs at http://www.futurlec.com/Res14W.shtml
2 x Momentory pushbutton micro switches, http://www.pololu.com/catalog/product/1400
4 x LEDs, any will do but two colours will look better, (http://www.pololu.com/catalog/product/1070
Optional - only get these if you have another use for them:
1 x PIR Motion Sensor, http://www.dfrobot.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=36_58&product_id=119
(or any which can run on 3.3V and has a digital out pin, Pololu have this one http://www.pololu.com/catalog/product/1635
but you will need to follow their instructions to run at 3.3V)
1 x 3 Pin male headers, http://www.pololu.com/catalog/product/965
& a pair of pliers to save the ouch factor.
Naturally if you're experienced, use whatever you have at hand.
In the next steps I will start with simple uses and expand to more complex examples.
Next - Setup the Wixels.
[Note: I have linked to Pololu above for simplicity, many of these components are also available elsewhere, use your favourite sources. I have no connection with Pololu apart from liking their products. (but happy to get any free samples though, Mr Pololu... ;). Ditto for Sparkfun, DFRobot, Littlebird and Futurlec etc.]