Let's Make Robots!

Blogs

ESP8266 running NodeMCU as a controller

Every since the ESP8266 modules were released, I have wanted to try one.  I ordered a few once they came out last year, but did not get to try them out until this year. After trying one module that seemed to work but never could be connected to, I tried another and was finally able to get one to work. The only test I actually did with it was to grab a webpage, basically a curl call. That was earlier in the year and had done nothing else since with them.

QSM - Quarter Square Multiplication, 8 x 8 -> 16 Speed Record on Extended Baseline PIC!

QSM - Quarter Square Multiplication, Speed Record on Extended Baseline PIC!

I'm a great fan of PIC10F / PIC12F / PIC16F controllers. They are inexpensive, they offer verstalie peripherals, and they are absoulely energy efficient which is becoming extremely important in the era of IoT. However, they don't provide mulitplication hardware. There are several code snippets for software multiplication around, but there is still the challenge of doing it better. I've taken it! And here we go with the fastest 8 x 8 -> 16 multiplication I know on extended baseline PIC.

4x4to8MTL - 4 x 4 -> 8 Multiplication by Table Lookup

The challenge

On piclist.com we find lots of basic arithmetic routines including multiplication of two 4 bit numbers giving an 8 bit result [1]. It gives detailed derivation of his code which is small and fast, indeed.

But we can do better! Since this article was published Microchip has brought the enhanced baseline PIC to market which has competitive price, larger instruction set, and more special function registers with increased functionality. This gives the option of simple and fast table lookup in program memory.

Arduino bluetooth controlled robot

Hello! This is the first robot about which I am writing on LMR. I am really excited! This robot uses an Arduino as its brain and has an HC-05 bluetooth module for sending in commands through a smartphone. The main focus here in this robot is the ability to automate its motions. A user can enter a string of letters and instruct the robot to mimic the step commands entered. For example a user can enter "ssrst" which means move forward 2 steps then turn right and move one step forward again.The 't' is to instruct the robot to perform the set of motions only once.

Mini review of the Actobotics runt rover Sprout robot chassis

Over the past week I have had the chance to play with the Actobotics runt rover Sprout. I posted an unboxing of this bot last week.

Introduction

I would like to introduce myself to the community. My name is Dave, I work as a AUV / ASV tech as well as specializing in underwater acoustics. After general shop talk I have taken a interest in small scale robotics geared towards geographic and oil / gas research. I have worked with automation and autonomous vehicles for the last 10 years and would like to apply my knowledge to smaller units. I look forward to many good discussions here and am willing to help where I can. Best wishes, Dave

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Find a sign by color tracking

An overview of the code factory:
Color detection is the fastest approach for for finding objects in a video image. And it does have its downsides of course.

Actobotics Runt Rover Sprout Unboxing

I was sent one of the new Runt Rover Sprout's from Actobotics today.  This is my unboxing report and first impressions.

New stuff arrived!

I have many new things today!

I received a box of old vaccum tubes won on eBay. These are meant to be used as decoration for Harpo (a reimagined R2D2 as if he were in Flash Gordon).

A bunch of surplus motors from All-Electronic (I believe).

And a nice assortment of Actobotics parts that I've agreed to review.

Pictures will follow sometime later tonight.

Ardux: low cost tracks robot based on cables chain

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p>This article discusses a low-cost solution in the DIY style using a chain cable, acrylic cogwheel for the trasmission and plastic box. In this articles will illustrate the construction of a track of 15cm lengt

complete project here

A blast from the past! 1979

Cleaning up my "work" room today and found this little jewel from my teen years.  All the way back from 1979!

Odroids

I've been cooped up in a hotel room while my wife is slowly getting over complications. Hopefully we leave Friday for home.

However, I did order a few things last night, including an Odroid-XU3 Lite. This is an 8 core ARM system with 2GB RAM. Think of it as a double strength RasPi 2 on steroids. I think it might be able to run some interesting AI software.

I'm hoping to run a version of OpenCog on it and compare this with the NUC.

My plans for building robots: The Troupe

My major plans for building robots is for the three main robots of the Troupe: Grouco, Harpo, and Chico. In addition there will be smaller prototypes: Bilbo, Frodo, and others. The Troupe will all be Retro-Futuristic.

The prototypes:

  1. Bilbo is a balancing robot using OpenBeam beams, 3d printed levels and motor mounts, and a Teensy 3.1 to handle the balancing. My plans include trying to put the algorithm on an Arduino once I am satisfied with it.

  2. Frodo is an iCreate 2 that will be used to prototype sensors.

3.

Blue footed Bobbie!

Thanks to Oss, I have a Blue footed Bobbie now!

I have the servos on it and a Digispark soldered up.  I will make a uC/servo/ubec harness next week sometime. Will post pics back on my progress.  Thanks again Oss!

 

Overall Structure of My Hexapod Program

I've been trying to add additional features to my hexapod code for several weeks now. As I mentioned in my last blog, I've spent some of this time freeing up RAM. While I've made a little progress towards adding some the features I desire, I haven't made nearly as much progress as I had hoped. I'm hoping my fellow LRMians won't begrudge my effort to get my taughts straight in my brain my posting them as blogs.

Making Room In the Propeller RAM for More Features

This is another "thinking out loud" blog. A couple of weeks ago I mentioned to Gareth I was down to 798 free (32-bit) longs. Since I knew I wanted to add additional features, I needed to figure out a way of freeing up some RAM.

Maple Mini ebay clone

I was looking at eBay one night and saw a Maple Mini clone. It was under $5 so I took a chance. For any that don't know, the Maple boards are Arduino like uC's designed by Leaf Labs. They make ARM Cortex controller boards. This little board has the following short list specs:

Reflections on Hoff

I haven't been able to substantiate or dispel the note about our friend and my likely relative hoff70. What I can say is that repraff.com lost its place on the web two days ago. It's safe to say that if hoff isn't dead, in some sense he's killing his online identity.

Geologic Inspection Rover based on the Wild Thumper Design

02-14-2015

I see that Jameco.com has the same type of motor used in the Wild Thumper (http://www.jameco.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10001_10001_2150491_-1).  I will likely buy motors from Jameco, and try to install them in lengths of PVC pipe like the Instructables project showed.  If anyone has another source for similar motors, please let me know.

CSVPOVD - Charlieplexing Saccadic Valentine's Persostence of Vision Display

Happy Valentine with this strangely named new device!

CSVPOVD in action

My artificial neuron approach

February 12, 2015

A single artificial neuron can represent some simple Boolean functions like OR, AND or NAND and some like XOR not, because a single artificial neuron can only learn linearly separable mappings.

Example. Perceptron for the AND function:

Beginner Steps for a Grand Project

What I want to build iare smart gliders capable of flying in formations, like the way flocks of starlings fly (called murmurations).

See @aerobotec on Twitter to read further about their purpose and other details about how they will operate.

The details of this project are way beyond my capabilities as an individual, but as I move forward perhaps the project will develop interest in a larger community.

Security System

Hi all,

To start with, this has nothing to do with robots. I'm seeking advice on a security system.

I've been tasked with securing a length of fencing, to prevent a reoccurring intruder. This is to help a friend, who is feeling threatened by someone creeping around at night and any advice, you can offer will be received most graciously.

Web based Voice recognition

First experiments of the Virtual InMoov ( VinMoov ) being controlled by a web based voice recognition service.

Press below for video :-


Basic set up is using :-
InMoov Meshes. www.inmoov.fr
Blender Game Engine www.blender.org
MyRobotLab Software www.myrobotlab.org
Virtual serial port bridge
The MRL software uses a live web link to decode voice input

Beer Can Collection

When I finish my work and return home on a Friday, I'm often in need of relaxation, after all I've worked hard all week. I've found drinking beer to be an excellent form of relaxation, however this activity can meet with numerous pitfalls. For example, it would appear, the bottomless beer can has not yet been devised by our scientists, or inventers. The work around to this problem is usually to store a set amount of beer in individual containers, often made of aluminum, with a convenient opener on it's top side, which doubles as a mouth piece.