range of processors were developed in the United Kingdom (with Oil
& Gas funding) by Bath firm Revolution
These pre-programmed, interpreter devices are extremely cheap and only
have a few limitations.
All PICAXE processors are
using a language which is a variant of BASIC. The software to do this
Make sure you download the latest version which now includes a 4
channel data plotter!
AXEPAD is the alternative software offered in Windows, Mac OS and
Apart from the BASIC
Programming Editor allows programs to be entered as flowcharts. The
Editor also permits you to simulate how your programme will operate, a
great time saving feature.
A USB to
serial converter can be bought to connect old programming leads or
simply purchase a USB downlaod cable AXE027.
of a breadboard is a great option to avoid soldering and the risk of
burns; you simply push components into the board as in the example
A 3 x AA battery box with
switch is a
safe and tidy way to ensure that the batteries cannot be connected the
wrong way around in a circuit. We are prototyping on Wishboard then use
Veroboard (& 8-pin IC sockets) for finished circuits.
Winston - the multipurpose pixace 08M robot.
Investigate what looks like complex behaviours that emerge from
simple reflexes such as avoiding light or touch.
A geat introduction to AI (artifical intelligence)
projects and circuit ideas
have a number of PICAXE
tested by students as well as winning projects judged at the PICAXE
Project Gallery. The PICAXE can act as a data logger, transmit data
students (skin is slightly conductive), provide motor control for small
robots and do heaps more!
Below are some
of the projects...
CPR training simulator: this
uses part of the RIGEL games and electroncis link
The Fenton cardiopulmonary resuscitation simulator uses a PICAXE 08M2
to measure and monitor heart compression rate. The instrument operates
in two modes; stand-alone and computer linked. Two simple sensors, a
lever switch and capacitive humidity sensor, provide input to determine
heart compression and respiration timing. The unit is lightweight and
portable, augmenting the use of a ‘mini-Anne’ manikin (available from
the St John Ambulance Service).
In stand-alone mode, successful heart compressions can be heard as
piezo beep sounds and also seen visually by LED indication. A LCD
screen attached to the unit provides feedback about compression rate
and prompts when respirations should be given, providing a significant
improvement in a student’s ability to self-assess their skill at
If linked to a computer, the RIGEL interface fulfills the function of
the LCD and also provides a simulation of a heart beat trace and blood
As someone who has received First Aid training,
The CPR simulator in its present form is extremely effective in its
simplicity. All above information is for general reference only; always
undertake CPR training from authorised medical experts such as St John.
Heart rate sensing Teddy
Bear - a heart rate monitor to calm a scared child!
There is a thunder storm outside, and your daughter is afraid of the
noise...what do you do?
Simple; grab a spare teddy bear, tell her the bear is scared too, and
she must hold it's hand to calm it down by thinking happy
thoughts...biofeedback to the rescue!
A teddy bear fitted with an infra red (IR) sensor in its
paw detects blood flow in your finger when you hold its paw.
A picaxe 08M2 chip detects the pulses and flashes a
light emitting diode (LED) in the bears chest in time with your pulse
can be used as a standalone heart rate monitor / digital
pulse meter to measure and
monitor heart beat rate. The instrument uses Infrared sensors which can
be clipped to finger ends or ear lobes to detect the heart beat by
unit is lightweight and easy to
handle. The pulse can be heard as piezo beep sounds and also seen
visually by LED
Ariki Main Gallery exhibition -
Fenton, Andrew Hornblow and others helped artist Ian Clothier design a
PICAXE robotic system to create an interactive analogue/digital art
work for the 'Fresh out of the box' exhibition at Puke Ariki.
photo: Bryan James
special collection of Taranaki treasures, and new artworks reflecting
the culture of Taranaki. Fifteen artists, each with a link to the
region, have responded to various objects in the exhibition and
produced new work in various media which launches the exhibition into
both an art and objects realm."
"My first digital media project to directly aim for creating an
integrated system, albeit small scale. It utilises autonomous robotic
cars and feedback, the interaction of which leads to a continually
changing output: word lists. The word lists are then searched for
sequences of words that make poetry."