Let's Make Robots!



Mini Groucho

I've decided to make Groucho into a two-wheeled balancing bot. This would make him 5' tall at least and 2 wheelchair motors will give him enough torque.

However, because I don't want to make Groucho-sized holes in the wall or destroy Groucho by ramming him face first into the basement concrete floor, I'm going to do a test case first.

My plan is to create a 2' tall, 3" deep, and the width of a long breadboard plastic frame.

STL support on blogs.

STL Files are now able to be added and viewed on forum and blog posts as well as robot project posts.  

Attach .stl files using the file attachment panel.

The uploads have a maximum of 4Mb and your stl should be created so it is centered on x and y and the bottom on the z axis to be displayed properly in the viewer.

You may upload more than one file at a time and the objects will be selectable via a drop down.

Let me know if you guys have any issues :)

STL Viewer (beta)

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Goodies Galore!

Hello LMRians. How are the projects hitting lately?

So, it was an unprecedented week as I had 3 packges rolling into my place, and I just wanted to make a tiny update on these goodies I generously received from a couple of LMRians.

Baking some Pi:

PC Control using an ATMega32u4

I am in the process of putting together a project for another hobby of mine; music. I am a trombone player, who dabbles with many many other instruments, playing in many types of bands. I play in a Band called Dennis, in addition to  a Brass Bsnd, and also play for many others as and when duty calls or opportunity knocks.

Pi Jumper

I finally had a chance to release Pi Jumper today!

Pi Jumper is my Raspberry Pi to breadboard breakout, designed to be useful in education (and at home).

Pi Jumper works well with Raspberry Pi models A, B and B+

Pi Jumper

Pi Jumper, mounted on a Raspberry Pi, with a female round header for easy bread boarding.

Delta 3D printer distortions

I recently wrote a little code to plot the effects of various calibration/build errors on a deltabot.  They may be helpful to people calibrating delta bots...


AuMac, a multitask robot


A multitask robot for children and security surveillance


Good bye for a while.

After seeing how many people in this group treat beginners, I'm leaving for a while until I can think clearly again. Most of the people who jumped all over me for defending a beginner were people whom I had respected.

As all of you were beginners at one time, I'm hoping that you can sympathize with my point of view. If you can't, then maybe I'm right to be leaving. One of the reasons I joined LMR was that it seemed to be friendly to beginners.

Wall-e MkII/Project 2: The master plans

Howdy all


As i right this i am basking in the glory of getting the final submission of my degree submitted for this semester.

The content: rushed, sub-par and generally shite, however it was submitted at 15:59 (one minute to spare).

This is a monumental occasion - While i'll probably have to resubmit them over the Summer months on paper I am now free to resume my tinkering!

I am writing this mainly to summarise my current states on my projects, and how i am hoping to progress...


Wall-e MkII

Toys for kids with disabilities


UPDATE July 5.

In the las couple of weeks, several hacked remote controlled toys made their way to the kids. See how they like it.


If you want to helo, please contact the email addresses in the end of the video.

/ End Update


The batteries are coming!

The LiFePo4 batteries I ordered for Groucho and Zeppo should be arriving tomorrow. Well I suppose it's actually later today by now. They got sent to the wrong FedEx shipping center and they're going to drop them off and take the pallet to the basement door! Of course, this is only for a minor extra fee... :)

So since the base and motors and wheels for Groucho have all arrived, I should be able to get things working eventually.

I2C IO expander/servo controller using a picaxe 20x2

20x2 picaxeI needed analog ports and servo control for the RPi in my R2D2 project that can be controlled with I2C. Because I have a few spare Picaxe ICs I decided to make one using a Picaxe 20X2. Currently I only need a single servo and a single analog input, but I don’t want to reprogram the Picaxe every time I add another sensor so I wrote the attached code to turn the 20X2 into a general purpose IO expander. 

Emotions and Motivations as behaviour architecture

Hi all, a few days ago, I started designing the behaviour-based architecture for my robot Hurby. I thought to design it as a Subsumption architecture (see my previous blogs) in which different behaviours compete to be selected as dominant, and hence move Hurby accordingly.

Wall-e MkII - the tinkering begins...

As progress with Wall-e MkI (the test Wall-e) continues I can't help but start planning the 'proper' build, or the MkII :-)

Consider this a 'thinking-out-loud', rather than a definitive plan; I will document the second build in it's own Project.


A Brain functioning approach

Hi again, along next lines I will try to explain the way in which I'm designing Hurby's brain, from sensory to actuator module. I think it can be interesting and useful for some of you. Nevertheless as I'm already under its design, all of your comments and suggestions are welcome.

Fuzzy Inference module for behaviour-based control

In previous blog I talked about the subsumption architecture of Hurby toy, now it is time to talk about the fuzzy inference module which controls its happiness state.

Hurby's happiness depends on two main variables.

Hello all!

This is D. Jay Newman, also known as Dangerous Thing (as in "A little learning is a dangerous thing.")

I built several robots in from the late 1990's through the early 2000's. I had several articles and one book, Linux Robotics, published. Then my wife became extremely sick and I had to quit work to become her full-time caregiver. I was also forced to quit working on robots. Lately I realized I had to build things again or not be true to myself.

I've begun working on the troupe: Groucho, Harpo, Zeppo, and eventually Chico.

An Experience at the International Space Apps Challenge 2014, Kathmandu

Probably the world's largest "Codeathon", or what I like to call it, "Hackathon", The International Space Apps Challenge, kicked off in more than 90 countries all over the world on April 12th, 2014. Kathmandu was proud to be one of the hosting venues for a world-wide 48-hour pulsating event and so was I to be one of the participants. 16 teams had geared up in groups of all shapes and sizes to present their ideas, to bring them to life and most importantly, to change the world we live in to make it a better place. 


Behaviour-based design. Subsumption architecture

One ot the most challenging tasks I planned for Hurby project, was to define its behaviour. It should behaves in an intelligent manner, discriminating between different happiness states according with user (my daughters) interaction.

Basically, I wanted that Hurby's happiness will depend on two main causes:

Let's begin

My first step is to understand how to program my AVR. Quick googling and I've intalled AVR Studio 4.18 build 684. Version is important here, since there are a lot of issues with 4.19 (and later?) on forums and personal blogs.

I'm pretty familar with C and C++, so I've setup WinAVR to compile and build my future C programm for AVRs.

"The Better Mousetrap" Servo Tester

I've decided that my new servo tester (based on RoboPi) deserved a page of its own on my site, and that other LMR users may be interested in following my build log.

"The Better Mousetrap Servo Tester"

You can find the build log, and more photos at:


(The jitter issue is now identified as the MG-995 servos needing unusually clean servo power)

3D Printer Build

My friend Mr. Ossipee recently asked me how my printer build was going. So I decided it was time to start blog to chronicle my blunders! :)

I started out with a very ambitious plans to build a hybrid rostock style delta printer. As you can see below I had ordered quite a few parts in preparation for the build.

Arduino Mega, Ramps 1.4, and Display.


Project 2: Tidying up

Last two days have been frustrating - work has prevented me from working on developing my skills.

I did, however, manage to shorten the huge loom of wiring that came attached to the motors; there was a little board with 6 straight-through connections already attached near the motors on the base, so I soldered the 2 wires of each motor, plus the battery wires, to one side. The other side i continued the connections to the motors shield.

Project 2: And so it starts...

So, today, full of motivation (now I have figured out a rough plan for my project), decided to start learning the techniques to help me build my project.

Today, using a donated toy base (tracked, with 2 12v motors and gearboxes to boot), I added:

  • an Arduino Uno
  • Arduino Motorshield
  • Two 4xAA battery packs (in series to provide 12v). 
  • A Bluetooth module.

Using some arduino code I had developed for my Wall-e task I was able to move my tank around - ruddy good times!

Project 2 - my first project!

I've always has an interest in robotics and suchlike, however never really committed to taking that interest forward; coding and suchlike are my favourite parts but i am inept when it comes to the hardware side.

I keep going through phases where i plan to learn, to do... but never do.

Recently i actually started a project, however - to take a Wall-e toy, rip out the innards, give it a few motors and servos and add an Arduino (with motor shield and bluetooth Module) to keep it together.