Twin Tweaks ...
THE 4D PROGRAMMING CABLE.
of memory to the device; there are general-purpose
ins/outs that could be connected to digital sensors; and
there are ports for A/D conversion in case analog sensors
are your cup of tea. There’s even the capability for sound
generation, just in case being a visually gifted device was
not enough for your Renaissance robot.
We received two units from 4D Systems: the
µOLED-128-G2 module with a 1.5” display, and the
µLCD-32WPTU module with a 3. 2” display. LCD screens
have been a fairly frequent addition to many robots
because they’re a great way to send messages to the
user, debug the bot, or otherwise monitor what’s
happening. These, however, were not your average
In addition to the features mentioned above, the LCD
modules from 4D have resistive touch screens. Thus,
while LCD screens have appeared in some of our projects
as passive displays, these modules
could be used as interactive user
interfaces. The other, smaller module
was an OLED screen. Every tinkerer
worth their salt has come across and
used LEDs in their projects. The
classic LED looks like a tiny cylindrical
bulb with a rounded top that emits
bright light of a certain color. The 4D
smart display, however, was not just
any LED — it was an OLED, or
Organic Light Emitting Diode.
As its name suggests, the OLED
is made out of an organic
compound. The most noticeable
difference between the OLED and
the traditional LED is that the OLED
comes in a thin sheet and looks
more like a thin layer of plastic than
the familiar bulb.
The OLED also boasts some
other favorable characteristics, like
no need for a backlight and better
contrast than LCD screens.
All of these features sound
great, but they also make it seem
like the promise of cost-effective
modules might be out of reach.
Particularly with the fairly recent
emergence of OLED technology, we
figured the idea of cost-effectiveness
was more relative than anything else.
The wide screen LCD module,
however, can be acquired from the
4D website for $89, and the OLED
module is only $55. With a price like
that, the modules had our attention,
as well as our curiosity.
PROGRAMMING THE OLED MODULE WITH VISI.
PROGRAMMING THE LCD MODULE WITH VISI GENIE.
68 SERVO 03.2013