PIC microcontrollers are produced by the company Microchip Technology Inc. They produce a full line of chips ranging from 6 to 80 pins with a range of memory capacities, speeds, interfaces and peripherals. They are useful for small mechatronics projects because of their small size, low cost, and I/O capabilities.
Here is some documentation on PICs available in the mechatronics lab.
- PIC16F684 - The PIC16F684 is a 14-pin/8-bit flash memory-based PIC. It features 4-channel PWM, 12 pins of programmable I/O, a 20MHz clock, and uses less than 1 mW of power. It was purchased for the lab to function as a dedicated mid-level motor controller chip. (Digikey Part #: PIC16F684-I/P-ND)
Microchip makes various kits for progrmaming PIC chips. Using Microchip's MPLAB software, you can write, simulate and program your code.
- PICkit - One of the simplest and easiest is the PICkit. It uses a USB interface to connect the PIC to a PC. It is a low-cost solution at approximately $40/kit. (Digikey Part #: DV164101-ND or DV164120-ND)