Let's Make Robots!


In the meantime...

Nearly a month since my last (and first) post, I thought I'd post again to show that I haven't disappeared completely.

Recently, I've been trying to get my electronics up to speed.  So I've been following the excellent, extensive documents at http://www.allaboutcircuits.com/ - if you export them as PDFs they make a great substitute for books.

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.

Here are some more pictures

Motor and driver board




One of the motors along with the driver board.  Each LMD18200 gets a PWM, Direction, and brake signal from the controller.  The encoders also plug in here and receive power from a 7805(not added yet in the picture)
















Nothing worth reading

Boe bot arived and will be learning how to program. Thank you i will keep at it pictures will come later.

Just got thru the first chapter of the boe bot and there is alot in the form of programing to learn i a bit I will be starting lesson 2 and i belive it is going to cover servo zeroing. Huhh.   Oh well i guess it is important. 

Servos zeroed. Under stand the principles of them now. In laymans terms they are varible speed motors. Still at it thou.

The Junk Box Arrives!

Today, I received The Great Internet Migratory Box Of Electronics Junk!  It's called "Woking1" and it's the first such box to wend its way around the UK. The idea is a bit like a mobile geocache; you take a few useful parts out, put a few useful parts in, and then send it on to someone else.  There's a Wiki all about it here: http://tgimboej.org/ and my photo set on Flickr here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/anachrocomputer/sets/72157606706573085/

White Strips

I know I should be doing other things, but I saw this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_4POEtLd_4

.. I made one (sorry, no video) and it was just as easy and fun as on the video :)

So I wondered.. how would it be like if the angle of the bristles could be altered, then you could steer! 

So I made some tests yesterday, and this turns out to be quite fun.

im new

never thought id get on here! im only 12!

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.

My First Robot

I thought I'd wait until I'd made my first robot before making my first post.  As you can see below, it's a complete rip-off of the (excellent!) first robot tutorial.  The differences are that I had to tweak the code to make him move forward/left/right properly, and also that mine is a bit more hairy due to an abundance of wires :-)  Not the sleekest of robots, but he'll be cannibalised pretty soon.

first robot

Help troubleshooting JDM PIC programmer

Well, my PIC 16F690s arrived in the mail, and I soldered up an ICSP-only version of the JDM programmer to program them. Unfortunately, and not at all surprisingly, it doesn't work -- the PIC programming software (picprog, in linux) doesn't see the PIC:


i am FINALLY starting my project!!!! i am gonna order them soon. If it wasn't for this site, i wouldn't be interested in robots at all. *GASP!* thanks guys!


WEll i'll start off with i'm lazy. that being said nothing is more exciting then doing soemthing right when i finally try. This afternoon i hooked up an old pc speaker i salvaged from work.


The good news: it works, and generates tones based on input from my ir sensor.

 the bad news: its awfully quiet, i would think it has to do with being a pc speaker and being driven by 5v- whatever the darlington takes out of it.


now the decision: do i hook up a second power supply?  or search for a speaker ment to be driven off of 5v?

My first blank RoBot

And here we are... My little Frits bot. It can explore the whole room and I can know in what the bot is thinking with a serial of flashes and sounds.


Here's my entry to the robots in the sun.

If anybody would donate some small plastic gears for my toy competition entry, feel free to contact me, OK


Here's a link, if the embedding doesn't work 

Support SparkFun!!!!!!!!!!

Hey folks,

So I just had a total, smoking melt-down of 4 IR distance sensors. To say I was quite upset would be an understatement. At the same time, my wife and kids are on holiday for the next week leaving me in a nice, quite house with time to work on my robots. Now, I have the time... But no sensors.

 I just got off the phone with Paul from Spark Fun ( http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/categories.php )

Now, I can't say exactly what they did to accomidate me, but I can say I AM A VERY, VERY HAPPY CUSTOMER!!!!!

Listen to this:

Thumbs up for Robotics!

My first batch of bits has arrived and I've been cobbling together some homemade cables, breadboard jumpers, a soldering iron stand and a handy grab thing. I was going to write about them, but it turns out I might need that handy grab thing a bit more now, because half way through attempting to cut a hole in my project box, I thought it would be a super idea, to chop the end of my thumb off.

28 X2 stack kit, or a canuck kit

So after dealing with Advanced Micro Shiters Services, I bought my kit off a Canadian company, HVW Tech. Calgary based it was bought by Solar Robotics quite recently.


Pretty good deal, about 50$ CAD gets you:

- 'AXE Stack-28 kit
- PICAXE Programming Cable
- 2-Panel Solderless Breadboard
- Breadboard Voltage Regulator Kit
- 140 Piece Wiring Kit


They called me the day after I ordered to tell me that the wiring kit was out of stock but would send it when they had it. 

Firefox 3

Type "about:robots" in the address bar in the new Firefox 3...

New stuff to play with (oh joy oh joy)

Today I received my CMUCam3 which is a small ARM7 based thingie with a camera and 4 servo connectors amongst other stuff. I'm hoping to get some time to dig out my old image processing books and make some interesting stuff. Would be nice to have something follow the cat around and give him some exercise :-)

I'm amazed at how small the board is. I think it is actually smaller than the picaxe 28x dev board - of course it is higher since it has a sub board with the camera attached to it.

UK Buying Group?

The robot pot nears being full for the first batch of stuff which will be something like:

Motor driver

Well.. Ever since I found this page (through ing.dk) I've been dying to build my first robot.

I have bough all the parts I need, and i've been trying to modify an RC toy car, but i have blown up the motor driver in it :D. I tried with the 293D, but it couldn't take the current. So right now i'm just stuck...

LMR Euro 2008 Fantasy Football League

Anyone like football? No, of course not. We're all geeks around here. I've been convinced to give Euro 2008 Fantasy Footbal a go by my colleagues. Anyone who wants to join a LMR Fantasy Football League, create and account here: http://en.fantasy.euro2008.uefa.com and join the league (under the "Leagues" button) by entering the league code:


Hey, even if you don't support any particular 11 overpaid idiots, sign in and pick a completely random team just for a laugh!

Runaway robot


Text is in danish, sorry. It's about a danish shop that bought an iRobot vacuum cleaner. On the first day they put it to work in the shop and left it to its job. After a while, the shopowner asks if anyone has seen the robot. Nobody has seen it and it turns out that it's gone. They suspect that it has run out the backdoor, which was left open by mistake, and nobody has seen it since. 

Please Help Me Code-People and Fritz

Hey Fritz (and code people)

I am still using your good ol' (the one using the fr05)... and it's still great! I modified it to run servos as motors instead of a motor dirver chip. --Here's the deal, I am using a FR05 on a servo in the standard configuration but the way I have it mounted is quite high up. I have added (2) Sharp IR distance sensors down low in order to catch anything that the FR05 misses. Sort of a "whoa, I didn't see that..." extra safety. 

Here is what I am trying to insert --I thought it would be super simple!!

Easy Freebie LEDs

A quick tip for all you cheap skates out there. I've always had it in my head that I would like my robot to have no permanent connections, to allow me to experiment and reconfigure. This also has the nice side effect of less soldering for me to mess up. I actually have a cunning plan to pay my flatmate in jelly beans to do the tough bits for me; he's an electrical engineer (rock!).

Uhhh World Education Services, or Advanced Micro...

Hello all,


My name's Boris Jovic, I live in the Vancvouer, canada area.

My Arduino Experience

I have never messed around with microcontrollers before and decided this looked like a good hobby.  I decied on the Arduino because it is open source and I support that as much as I possibly can.

So to get started, I got the the following:

The Robot Pot - Drinking my way into robotics.

It's a well known fact that 97.3% of the UK population (babies included) are alcholics; according to the government definition of binge drinking anyway. Well I follow in that proud national tradition, but nevertheless think it would be good for the body if I could cut down. I've also decided it would be good for the soul for me to get into robotics and doubly as good if it could be neutral for the wallet.