Let's Make Robots!

Gareth's blog

Propellor Web Server

I have been battling for over 1 year to get a standalone simple webserver working (Arduino Based) ........Failed.

I have been battling for over 1 hour to get a standalone simple webserver working (Propellor Based) .....Total success.

okok maybe if i go back to the atmel version i am armed with more information.........


Its been a dream of mine to get an Internet controlled robot up and running - using its own dedicated Webserver.

POV (persistence of Vision) from Hacked "Aircraft carrier marshalling light"

Take one Aircraft carrier marshalling light ..... or something you can pick up at the local supermarket for 10CHF(10dollars) like i did.

Hack the living daylights (joke intended) out of it.

Result =  4x8 neat LED rows..........plus a neat battery box,enclosure and strong magnet (for another project)

With a dremmel cut the positive tracks and expose some of the copper track

Mysterious Tracks Appear in snow !!!!

Whats happening on Gs balcony ?

Off the track :- i need to ID this car and its year of manufacture - if anyone knows then please post a picture here and i will add you to the unofficial sponsors list........ really i am serious.

(But wait a moment - this project needs an MPU & motor driver - but which ones - what would you official sponsors send me haha)

I would like to reproduce this exact set up.........

Propellor :- "Major Nichols" hits the Rollers - laser wheel encoder (Part 5)

One Etape closer.........

Decided it was time to try out my "Laser wheel encoder - Propellor Rig" with my actual racing bike :-

Starting to get the hang of the Propellors Display Gui.

Sporting in chronological order

Propellor :- Laser Roller Install Part 4

Permanent install of laser/photo transistor brackets and circuit walk-though.

As the laser needs to be pretty "Solid",  i decided to install it using metal brackets.... so ......

..... it aint gonna move and miss-align whilst i hit 60Km/sec


Propellor :- laser spoke detector "Interactive Roller Experience" Part 3

Out with the reed-switch in with the lasered 32 spoke detector.

What this means is instead of 1 pulse per revolution of the wheel .....i have instead 32 (one pulse/spoke) ..... meaning a much faster update of my speed.

Video explains the details...........

Propellor :- "Interactive Roller Experience" Part 2 Display Gui

nonstream link part2 Display Gui

At last i have cracked my Propellor/Spin Display Gui headache using a combination of the tv.spin and graphics.spin   object files.

The basic "Speedo" stage is complete giving me a much more satisfying digital and analog gauge to watch (already 1-up on the traditional cycle speedometers).

Propellor :- "Interactive Roller Experience Begins" Part 1

So the Build has Started.........

My first real dive into "Spin" Processing.......... using an "EasyProp" propellor board........

Its been an interesting week learning how to setup input and output digitals , also setting up the Monkey-tasking was a bonus (i just love MT now - sorry Arduino :-)

It was also a simple task to set up the Video output to my Dispaly Gui that will fit onto my bike.

My brain hurts from trying to understand the time_ing and crystal settings and multiplyer constants.....

Propellor Based - Bike Rollers - Draft Idea Stage

I am an avid Bike rider and now winter is approaching the idea of jumping on my "Rollers" during the dark evenings to keep up the fitness campaign frankly gives me no incentive .....at all ..... nada ..... however it has to be done (i am not the only one for sure).

My Guess is there could be quite a market in the racing Cyclist community for the proposed ideas below..

Riding 30-60 minutes on "Rollers" is pretty boring......... I want to change this ....

Victorian Electronics (Mystery) Busted

This apparent rare Victorian film has recently come into my hands.......

.... it appears to be some kind of electronic devise......

.... in the background is an "Organ Grinder" playing his Hand Organ.......

..... Any guesses what it is and what its for...........?

.........OK ok Ive be busted............ CTC has Twigged my "Victorian Film" as fake

However Congratulations to ezekiel181 for sussing the device.......

Yes this is no Victorian Film ..........

RC plane Project Part 11 - XBee Pro Field/Range Test

RC plane Project Part 11 - XBee Pro Field/Range Test

(NonStream Link) XBee Pro Field/Range Test 

At last i have done some field tests with the Xbees ..........

...... I have been jumping/running around my local flying field .......

..... even on the lowest power setting i was able to Rx a good clean signal....

RC plane Project Part 10.5 - Frustration www.letsmakerobots.com (Gareth)

Frustration and delays.

"Red Box" firm are still messing around with my replacement XBee - GRRRRRRRRRR - means they are walking a thin line with me now..

Edit :- Red Box firm needed many emails before they sent replacement (thier tech support sucks - however thier admin rocks)

Anyways :- good news is i have fabricated the RX/TX circuit boards - Bare bone-ish style.

Deprons Transmit Module :-


Mystery Secret - Late Summer Object Quiz

Here is a Late Summer Mystery Secret for you to ponder over.

Any Guesses however obscure welcome.

So what is it ?

How can it be used ?

Can any "Metal Can" transistor be used (this is a very important Question) ?

Which famous Film is the music at the end from ?

And why did i not i think of this before ?

RC plane Project Part 10 - Wii-Nunchuk Experiment www.letsmakerobots.com (Gareth)

RC plane Project Part 10 - Wii-Nunchuk Experiment

NonStream Wii_Nunchuk Experiment

With all the recent talk with regards to the Wii_Nunchuk ..... and somewhere in a post someone dared me to attach a Wii-Nunchuk to Depron, i thought that at least i should give it a whirl to see how it felt.

Findings :-

I know that its still in "Dry-Hanger" at the moment but from my feelings the Nunchuck would only be of any use for the Ailerons.

RC plane Project Part 9 - Spray Painting Patrouille Suisse Style

Good news and Bad news............

Bad news :- is one of my Xbees "Kicked the Bucket".

I had been using the same setup all week and on a simple power-up its power Led blipped then remained off...........

Bad news UPDATE:- RedBox Firm are winging a replacement ASAP :-)

Anyway i have to renew it - so for the moment i am "Grounded" - "Locked Down" .... Shift Happens......

RC plane Project Part 7 & 8 - Rudder / Elevator Servos and Motor-Mount Test

Non Stream Link Motor Test 1 Depronmotortest1.wmv

Non Stream Link Rudder / Elevator installation & Motor Test  2 Depron Rudder/Elevator servos

Installation of Rudder and Elevator Servos..... and

Test of Motor Mount for Depron , not full power yet - as no multimeter was in circuit (max 10A before burnout ;-)

Arduino XBee Serial Multiple Servo Solution

Here i present my Arduino XBee Serial Multiple Servo Solution

Here is a Sketch of the system (apparently sketching your ideas is the thing todo...........)

I thought i was home and dry with my Depron1, Depron2 project untill i found out that mixing serial data and servos (ie >2 servos) with the Arduino environment is just not possible (due to the complexity of the multiple interrupts).

Bandit @ 13:00 - Part 4 XBees (Plus Extra :- EPP Flying practice)

Project "Depron" took one leap forward , with the successful implementation of the XBee Pros and Servo mechanisms.

This is a key part of the project, which means that i can now rest easy that i have 1.5Kms of control over the plane.

It was no easy task to find compatible libraries for the Serial & Servo control,

In the end a combo of the NewSoftSerial.h and ServoTimer1.h was the perfect match for the XBee Pros, the whole system is running rock steady @ 38400Baud (@momo).

Bandits @ 12:00 Operation "Depron" (Will Gareth take to the Air)

After a long absence from flying gliders and control-line aeroplanes, i have decided to take to the air again, with the experience/inspiration and ideas from LMR - i think i have enough guts to start right from scratch.

Yes you guessed it ........ this is not an "Off the Shelf" model, this will be a complete self build from solid floor to fluffy cloud.....

Mystery Summer Object 2010 (now revealed)

Summer Mystery Object time is here :-

What on earth does this "Something Else" device do ?........... what sane or  more fitting .... insane guesses do you have.

(at long last  my Avatar picture becomes clearer, dont let that distract you though, if you look carefully there are extra clues in the pictures)

Update1 :- Speed/Direction & Duty Cycle Potentiometers added

Update2 :- Binary Coded Switch installed - to help with the patterns - and two Hacked Nokia Lipos for "On the Road" use.

Mystery Object Time again

Yes its that time again...........Mystery object to be identified

What is it and how will it be used ?  (wild guesses also encouraged).

Only clue is that its for my latest Picaxe project (would you believe), and promises to be a cool addition ..... when its programmed..

Ok..... i could not wait to post some Video of Basic System

EuroBot 2010 - The Robots - Switzerland

EuroBot 2010 The Robots collecting thier points, many different strategies.

Direct link  :- EuroBot 2010 The Robots_part1.wmv

                     EuroBot 2010 The Robots_part2.wmv

EuroBot 2010 - Rapperswil - Switzerland - Gareths impressions

EuroBot 2010 - My impressions Video of the Swiss "Feed the World" robotic competition.

nonstearm link :- Euro Bot 2010  or ustream

No_Comment - Wot the "Bleeeeeeep"

No_Comment ..... only "Bleeeeeeps" please - my new plastic friend.

EuroBot 2010 Competition Switzerland Rapperswil-Jona from May 27 - 28 2010

I will be watching not competing (pending work) and will do my best to beam it on my ustream channel

(if they have wireless then maybe "Live").

Link :-Eurobot 2010 - Swiss and European Championship

"Day of the Sun" - St.Gallen - Switzerland - Solar Transport Event

"Day of the Sun" - St.Gallen - Solar Transport Event

St.Gallen hosted an event to generate interest in the "Solar" direction.

High point of the event was Solar Car racing.

School from all over St.Gallen where asked to enter mini Solar cars to race on a track.

The prizes where pretty good incentive too.

Swiss Milka Cow "Colour Match System"

Swiss Milka Cow project takes on some colour.

Firstly :- New body made (old one to flimsy) and also replaced motors again .....now with 10,000 rpm racing set (its an easy mod to do on all the GM motor range - just have to be careful not to strip the gears.....) - also IR remote installed and an Arduino Mega as brain.

I have removed the old bi-colour eyes and replaced with high intensity RGB ones instead.

Also i have installed a RGB led into the lower Jaw bone and along side an LDR to detect the reflected colour.

Swiss Milka Cow ......"BlueTooth"......... Enabled

At long last there is Light at the End of the Tunnel (laser Light that is).

The BlueTooth Link is established to my Swiss "Milka" Cow.

This means i can control it remotely and also Gleam off the amazing info that the Wii-Mote has to offer.

What you see in the Video is the first BlueTooth remote drive tests and also a glimpse at the "Visual-Basic" Gui that will control the Cow based on what it reads from the Scanning Laser (which is picked up by the Wii-Mote camera)

Swiss Cow Head Laser Distance Probe

"Moooooooo" project is still on course........

Basic idea is to attach the Head to a Theo Jansen four legged chassis blogged here.......

Had some great fun creating a PolyMorph Cows Head.

Using a Skinning technique i could make a really thin layer of PolyMorph.

This means that it is amazingly Translucent - for adding lights.


In the Picture above you can see its secret laser system.