Technical Overview of the IRCF360
Microcontroller controlled multi-functional sensor and IR module
The brain of Infrared Control Freak 360 is a PIC16F88 microcontroller from Microchip. PIC stands for ‘Programmable Intelligent Controller’. This is an 8-bit micro controller with a Harvard architecture; using separate buses for the data and instructions. It has built in 4096 x 14 bits integrated program memory , 369 x 8 bits of RAM and 256 x 8 bits of EE Memory, 16 Input and output ports, 7x 10bit analogue to digital converters, timers, USART (for serial internace, I2C interface, internal 8MHz crystal, this device executes 1 million instructions per second. The product sheet is avialable on Microchips website -> here
’Firmware’ can be compared to the ‘basic instincts’ and subconscious routines that are pre-programmed in the brain at ‘birth’.
ROBOTmaker have pre-loaded a programme into the IRCF360 microcontroller ‘brain’ which manages all the communications to your robot microcontroller and executes all the selected command routines. This program is called ‘firmware’ as it is permanently written to the chips internal flash memory. It will not disappear when the power supply is removed. The microcontroller’s memory can only be deleted or overwritten by using a special PIC programmer.
If you are a registered user and have a PIC programmer, then it is possible to use the provided ‘In-Circuit Programming’ connection to upload new versions of the firmware or any specially developed variants of the firmware. Alternatively, ROBOTmaker can load new versions of the firmware* for you by returning your microcontroller
*charge for return postage and packing applies