Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Pyxis OS for Arduino Portable Megapalm: A Journey

Update: After getting several email requests, I’ve decided to provide an option for the Touchshield Slide to come pre-loaded with Thom’s Pyxis OS up and running out of the box.

I’m also including this as a drop-down option for the Portable Megapalm, which Thom used in many of his demos, but the preload option can be added separately here. His compiler, Pyxis Studio, with 12 months of free updates, can be bundled on a snazzy 2GB USB stick as well.

Thom just released Pyxis OS, which runs on the Arduino Portable Megapalm and a Pyxis Adapter Shield for the Mega that he built himself.

It’s been quite a journey though, and Pyxis pulls several projects together quite nicely. Over the summer, Thom launched a gaming system running on the TouchShield Slide, which he dubbed GAMEPAX. His first game, of course, was the classic Space Invaders game with a new twist – a tilt-based accelerometer control system.

Next came the graphics-intensive Super Mario clone for Arduino and Slide. To boost the framerate, Thom started hacking the Slide firmware, with some pretty impressive results.

Later, Thom was able to hack together SD reader functionality on the Arduino + Slide, as well as a portrait mode. Throw in some SD/microSD reader function, an EEPROM file system, high and low level compiling (!)  and souped-up firmware for the ButtonPad and TouchShield Slide, not to mention months of power-coding, and the many threads of these projects came together as what’s been released as Pyxis OS, available at Thom’s page, www.skewworks.com, as well as the App Store.

Lest this appear to be devoid of hardware hacking, Thom’s also repackaged his project to create a Pyxis adapter shield compatible with the Arduino Mega. The adapter shield provides on-board access to DOSonChip SD card functionality.

Beyond Pyxis OS, Thom released the compiler as Pyxis Studio, which enables coding compiled applications in the PXE file format. Compiling assembly programs is free; compiling high-level programs into PXE costs a nominal amount to help offset hosting and development costs. Both will be soon be up available in the App Store as well.image

That’s not to mention the EEPROM file system project, now known as PFAT, and PyxisTSS, which contains the updated firmware and capabilities for Slide and Buttonpad.

It may seem like quite a deluge of cool projects, software, and hardware, but that’s because it is! More to come on the variety of new enhancements Pyxis brings to the Arduino platform. It’s definitely worth a look – www.skewworks.com


I’ll post up some “up and running” style walkthroughs for Pyxis next time – nice work, Thom!

1 comment:

GandalfGecko said...

Wow... That's amazing. Nice work Thom!