Let's Make Robots!

MechGeek2000's blog

A not so dumb but practical motor controller

I've been working on Leo's motorcontroller and reading a lot lately on bots.  It got me to thinking about using multiple uControllers to do multitasking.  I've slimmed down my original motor controller concept to just a PicAxe 14M, a L293D and some resistors. What makes this motor controller different is that it does more than just control the speed and direction of two motors for an indefinite amount of time.  It's possible during setup to make it that each command only last for five seconds or increments of five seconds.

What I want...

I've been thinking, while troubleshooting, a lot about what I would like in a bot. At first I'd  thought about a bipedal bot, but tracks are more stable, easier to work with, require less programming and unless you are using a large base for a bot it won't do stairs.  To be autonomous, to be able to do tasks without human control, such as recharging itself and performing basic tasks.

Motor Controller Board

Well I've almost had 3 weeks offline and got a ton of thinking done.  The physical design is basically the same, going to use a PicAxe 14M to control four DC motors with two L293Ds. The picaxe will be optically isolated from the arduino, so if the motors, an IC or a wire shorts out and decides it doesn't want to go alone that it doesn't have the arduino as an option as a buddy in IC heaven or hell.

Finally back online

I had to put my laptop in the shop because the mousepad was screwy and it wouldn't recognize a regular mouse. It's all good and shiny now though. Back to working on Leo.

 Mech  

Just some random thoughts

It's 5am and I'm still working on a project, not a robot or even bot related project *sigh*.  We all do what we have to do in order to clothe, feed and shelter ourselves and those we love if we they live with us.  This got me thinking of my bot Leo, and a few objectives I have for him such a new body for himas being able to 'feed' himself, and making a bot 'home' for him.

Found the correct motors for Leo

Well found the correct motors for Leo, less than a $10 fix, actually $7.16 before S&H. Polulu.com wants another $10.95 for S&H.  I don't mind paying for S&H but would rather wait till I ordered more than the S&H is going to be.  I might get a few extra motors to put on the swap board and see what I can get for them.  $20 for 4 motors, or $30 for 15 motors, you do the math and see what you come up with.

Got an accelerometer

Well got a Mesmic 2125 for Leo, actually at Radio Shack no less. I hooked it up to his MCU and was looking at the output stream. It's going to be interesting trying to integrate the accelerometer output into his code to make drive in a straight line. I'm going to have to make a sampling routine, because he'd act schizophrenic if he acted on each byte of data. Hitting a bump can change his pitch and roll drastically.