Let's Make Robots!

Chris the Carpenter's blog

Free Range Robots (IR Beacon) **UPDATED**

**Update 4.14.09***

OK, when you watch the video... 

First of all, it is like, 5 minutes -sorry. There is a point though promise, and that point starts at about 3:40 or so. Now, I can't stress enough, the code is wicked chunky as it was written in about 10 min. It is all "bang-bang" and not proportional at all. The final code should be about 10x faster, much more accurate with a lot less trial and error. For now, this is just proof of concept and indeed it has been proven. 

 

You MUST hear this!!!

I was over at Boing Boing and saw this post. A man was qouted over and over .002 cents per K of data on his phone. He used about 30,000 K and was charged $76. After talking to 3 or 4 different people, he could not convey the idea that .002 dollars was different than .002 cents. The recording of the call is included, which must go on for like, 20 min. -not trying to explain the mistake, but just trying to explain basic high-school math!!!

I gotta plug Sparkfun...

Hey guys,

I just wanted to do a little pat on the back for Spark Fun. I just got my order today (Sat.) from an order I placed on Wed. It was simple USPS Priority and got here in 3 days including the day it took for them to package it up. Not to mention they have stopped using packing peanuts and are instead using this recycled, compostable crinkly paper stuff. I have orded from these guys about 6 times now and have gotten this level of service every time. Man, I just simply love good customer service. These folks have my business from now on. 

Walter... FAIL!!

Well folks,

As it pains me to say, I have had a pretty major fail in the Walter dept... No blue smoke, mind you but I have found that getting 4 picaxes to talk to each other (while sharing serial and I2C devices) is no small task. I have more than 10 pages of hand-written notes with all my variables and pin assignments! Don't get me wrong, Walter will still live, but alas, it seems a major tear-down, downsize and rebuild is in my future... *sigh*

Coolest Hat (and wife) EVER!

You have goto see what Kari made me for my birthday!!!

Oh yeah, it's a hat with a pocket.

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A pocket for my iPod!!!! Hell friggin' yeah, yo!!!

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Kari is the most awesome wife EVER!!!

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Impossible Question...

I was driving with my son Phoenix, in the truck when he asked about the things hanging from my rear-view mirror and why they swing during corners. I explained centrifugal force, which he easily understood. The very next day as I was adding wood to the fire, he asked, "if there was a fire in your truck, would the flames bend when you turned"? First off, I was amazed and proud at what a kick-ass question this was coming from a 6-year-old. Second, I was struck with the fact that I had no friggin' idea. So, here is the question, fellow geeks and nerds...

Chris's Day Job

Hey folks,

I thought I would give you a peek a what I do for a living. I just finished this built-in for a HAM radio guy. The bead-board on the back wall is poplar and all hand milled while the desk and shelves are 6/4 and 8/4 African Mahogany. The finish is a hand-rubbed tung oil.

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On my way to save the World...

I am once again proud to be an American. Sorry about the last 8 years, guys. I truly belive now we will be a force for good.

America, where we solve problems through thought, logic and ingenuity -just like robot builders.

 

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Support SparkFun!!!!!!!!!!

Hey folks,

So I just had a total, smoking melt-down of 4 IR distance sensors. To say I was quite upset would be an understatement. At the same time, my wife and kids are on holiday for the next week leaving me in a nice, quite house with time to work on my robots. Now, I have the time... But no sensors.

 I just got off the phone with Paul from Spark Fun ( http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/categories.php )

Now, I can't say exactly what they did to accomidate me, but I can say I AM A VERY, VERY HAPPY CUSTOMER!!!!!

Listen to this:

Please Help Me Code-People and Fritz

Hey Fritz (and code people)

I am still using your good ol' (the one using the fr05)... and it's still great! I modified it to run servos as motors instead of a motor dirver chip. --Here's the deal, I am using a FR05 on a servo in the standard configuration but the way I have it mounted is quite high up. I have added (2) Sharp IR distance sensors down low in order to catch anything that the FR05 misses. Sort of a "whoa, I didn't see that..." extra safety. 

Here is what I am trying to insert --I thought it would be super simple!!

I need some ideas folks...

So here's the deal,

I just ran into this cool old robot thing... Originally from the Nintendo 1.0 it is full of possibilities.

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The arms travel up while the claws close, they open as they lower. 

The base has room in it for 4AA's and a small board.

The arms can also swivel 360 degrees while the head stays stationary

Also -The base is the exact right size for standard tracks.

 

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