Category Archives: ATMEL

Genetic Algorithms, Making a Robot Evolve

genetic algorithms
genetic algorithms

Evolution is a fact of life, it is the defining characteristic of life itself, but that doesn’t mean a stupid robot can’t evolve. For his entry into the Hackaday Pi Zero contest, diemastermonkey is doing just that: evolution for robots built around microcontrollers and a Raspberry Pi.

The project is a physical extension to genetic algorithms. Just like DNA and proteins have no idea what they’re actually doing, microcontrollers don’t either. Instead of randomly switching up base pairs and amino acids, his project makes random connections pins depending on the values of those pins.

The potential of these randomly programmed robots is only as good as the fitness function, and so far he has seen some surprising success. When putting these algorithms into a microcontroller connected to a tilting table mechanism and a PIR sensor, the robot eventually settled on a bit of code that would keep a ball in motion. You can check out the video of this below.

ATMEL Microcontrollers

ATMEL is a manufacturer of semiconductors, founded in 1984. Its focus is on system-level solutions built around flash microcontrollers. Its products include microcontrollers (including 8051 derivatives and AT91SAM ARM-based micros), and its own Atmel AVR and AVR32 architectures, radio frequency (RF) devices, EEPROM and Flash memory devices, and a number of application-specific products. Atmel supplies its devices as standard products, ASICs, or ASSPs depending on the requirements of its customers. In some cases it is able to offer system on chip solutions.

Atmel ATMEGA32 microcontroller
Atmel ATMEGA32 microcontroller

Atmel serves a range of application segments including consumer, communications, computer networking, industrial, medical, automotive, aerospace and military. It is an industry leader in secure systems, notably for the smart card market.

The President and CEO of Atmel is George Perlegos. His brother, Gust Perlegos, is Vice President. There are approximately 8,000 employees currently working for ATMEL, and its market strength is continuing to grow rapidly with it’s introduction of new technologies. It is headquartered in San Jose, California.

Atmel owns five semiconductor facilities which are based in:

* Fab5 in Colorado Springs (USA)
* Fab7 in Rousset (France)
* Fab9 in North Tyneside (England)
* A fab in Heilbronn (Germany)
* A fab in Grenoble (France)