Let's Make Robots!

patrickmccabe's blog

The Mailman


Long time no see...

I just wanted to share with you something I worked on during the month of January. I particpated in a robot competition here at M.I.T called MASLAB. My robot and team ended up taking 1st place. The details can be found on my website.

I'm sorry that I don't have the time to write a proper robot post about it on LMR.

You know, for kids.

This is an old project of mine that I think I now want to finish. It will be my first attempt at image processing.

Here is where it is at so far. More information will be added with time.


TouchOSC + Ipad + Processing

I am just sharing something I am working on. I say it will be used to control some robots in the future. It may just turn out to be something I do for the heck of it. Any way.... Here is a video explaining a little of what I have. Basically the thing with using this setup is all the code is written on processing which can read the input from the app and output data to the app also. This could be used to control a robot via xbee and display information back to the  user on the app. I may write a tutorial on this in the near future. 

ezLCDuino Backpack

I am just going to make it clear that the boards are not currently going to come preprogrammed with some kind of serial LCD backpack code or other code. It will be up to you to program it how you please, but all the capabilities are there. I will be posting example code though and hopefully some tutorials to get started.

3 new projects

I have started 3 new projects. I mainly wanted to use the laser cutter at school before the school year was over. So I made these things which I will be fully constructing in the upcoming weeks. I just threw stuff together for some photos.

My custom controller v2:


 A rover:


and Hexapod V2:

Chess Update

5.11.11 This update is running Grog's MRL program

The first video explains it well I hope.


5.14.11 The second video shows that I have changed the chess robot so it no longer goes back to a8 (the starting position) after every move. The code now calculates how to perform the next move from the location the chess robot's gantry crane ends at. I have also programmed in the ability for the robot to perform a castling move that the chess engine often does (this is not seen in the video)


Chess Engine Update 4/3/11

Well by luck I happened to find some one elses chess robot in one of the instructables contest. He was using Apple script to communicate with a terminal chess engine. That is about as much as I read into his project when I was like "Apple script?"

Chess GUI Update (3/19/11)

Here is an update on my chess GUI (written in Processing) I have been writing. Video explains all.

Maze Solving Robot V3. This one will work.

Not too long ago I received a care package from CTC. He sent me 2 of his arduino PCBs he designed. 


So that got me thinking, what would I build with it?

Well as this is going on, my highschool finally has its laser cutter installed. So it would be foolish of me not to use it. 

Here I go, making my highest verison of a robot yet. Maze Solving Robot V3. 


Quadcopter begins


Well i finally went through with it and started on a quadcopter. I will probably just stick to doing RC with it but who knows, maybe one day i will make a quadcopter UAV.




Solar Trike

Much thanks to D&G Green Products for their support http://www.dggreenproducts.com/




Do you remember when you were a kid, and you spent your time playing pong? Neither do I. But why not bring it back? Yes a portable pong game. 

So i set out on my quest...

After some decisions, i decided i would make a pong game using 6 LED matrices, 6 MAX7219CNG, 2 potentiometers + KNOBS!!, and some custom PCBs. So here is where i am at so far, just have a collection of parts but im working on it, still waiting for the PCBs to arrive. 


I have my own website now

Well it isnt that new but i am just announcing it. Many people on this site have told me that i should make my own, a place where my projects can easily be found and posts that are clean and complete without all the "Update .... Update .... Update". You might find other information that is on my site and not here, but that is unlikely. I am way more active here then i am at posting stuff on my site, only the finished product will go on my site as a virtual portfolio. You can see that i am not even done moving all my information on my robots from this site to mine.

Chess robot operation via ustream

The chess robot is now up and running via ustream (this doesnt mean its live yet, just that it works). So here is how it goes:

First of all, here is the ustream channel it will be on http://www.ustream.tv/channel/patrickmccb

The commands are as follows:

To move a piece type in the location of the piece, type dash, then type where you want to move it, then the word "move".

Example is: b7-b6 move     

The most useless machine ever

This is a "most useless machine" i made. I used a instructable but it was a comment by "compukidmike" that was the schematic i used. 

here is compukidmike's schematic picture thing  http://www.instructables.com/files/deriv/FCQ/XPAC/G43EFYKB/FCQXPACG43EFYKB.SMALL.jpg 


Ok so for one i moved it to a blog and two it now has some different functions.

The first thing i added was a password. In-order to get to the main menu, you have to type in a sequence using the input buttons.

The second new thing is the distance feature. I sat down and changed the sharp's numbers to inches and figured out to what extent to change the distance to the next one. It is pretty accurate but only goes up to 12in and down to 4in.