Let's Make Robots!

Nicola's blog

my brand new shiny blog :P

Hello, i just wanted to share that i have opened a new blog, you can find it here:


I felt like i needed a place where to post small updates and big projects and that's it :)

Dremel cutting and engraving :P

So i finally purchased my dremel, and made some tests of both cutting and engraving. I havent used cutting disks yet, only the cutting tip.

The first thing i have to say is: man that thing is dangerous :) Use some safety goggles if you have to use it! The second thing is that it takes a while to get hand with it. At first it just keeps going crazy and shooting particles of stuff around, with a particular aim for your eyes and face :P After some test i managed to make an almost straight line, and then i had some fun engraving stuff :P

Some tuning ahead :)

Ok, so now the robot kind of works. It can stabilize for anytime when on some "helpful" ground, such as thick carpet or on my bed. When on the ground, it only last some seconds and then it fell to one side or the other, or start swinging badly.

Tonight i'm going to drill some more holes on the case to attach 3 potentiometer. One will control the center, that is, the value that indicates "up". It will be usefult to carefully tune which is the stable position.

Some cool documents about Kalman Filter

Ok, i started doing some tests with my IMU module. It turns out that, while it is has very low noise while standing still, is suffer greatly from the robot vibration and movements.. Some research was in the need :)

Some items arrived for the balancing robot :)

Yay, i've just returned home from holidays, and i found that the package with most of the pieces of the robot has arrived :) There is the Arduino Diecimila board. I just quicktested it in linux and it works greatly :) it has an embedded led that is always connected to a specific pin, so that you can test the board without any other component!

The IMU board arrived too. I was surprised at how small the stuff is. Very small! i just have to find a new soldering iron (the current one is rusty and old) and i'll try to connect to the arduino and do my first readings.

Some empiric signal processing

I wanted to do something for my balancing robot even if i don't have the parts yet, so i decided that i could do some study on how to smooth the signal. I read aroung that many peoples who had a balancing robot working used some kind of filter becouse small noise on the readings of the sensor can compromise the stability of the robot. Some people used standard filters, some other used hand made custom hacks. Unluckly i haven't studied signal processing at school so the best i could do was reading about on Wikipedia and do some empiric tests.