Let's Make Robots!

The new "Shark" model of our robot

Last year we spend considerable amount of time building the new version of our robotics vehicle. Here is the result - the small tracked vehicle which might be intereresting for researchers in robotcs, AI, computer vision as well as for DIY enthusiasts. All the model, assembling instructions and software are open source.


Arduino pro mini undershield

The cheapest Arduino clone on Ebay is probably the small Arduino pro mini clone. I've bought some pro minis on Ebay for less then 3$ a piece from a Chinese seller. It's a tiny board with an ATmega328 running @ 5V. It does not have an USB/serial chip, so you need your own USB to serial converter.

The Making of Blaster Shark (Sumo)

Hello fellow robot builders,

Its been another while since my last post.  My building mojo has been renewed and I am starting a new sumobot.  The Vulcan Five is on hiatus until I can get the PCB replaced.  This time around I am building a minisumo which will compete in the upcoming Western Canadian Robot Games on May 15th.

iPhone as a robot controller made easy.

Just finished the vb.net app for controlling my robot with an iphone. It seems it is much easier than I thought.

The connection is based on Open Sound Control. The iphone sends special messages to my laptop via wi-fi.

More information on OSC. 



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.

Gears in Sketchup

In robotics, you  usually want more torque or speed out of your motors.

Rostock Build Blog.


For years there have been many great versions of DIY desktop manufacturing tools, and one of the most fun to build (and watch while it prints) is the Rostock 3D printer, which uses delta kinematics to equate its motion. 

Vacuum forming plastic parts.

Heres a few photos of my home made plastic vacuum former and its maiden test. If you don`t know what vacuum forming is check here, and youtube.

Essentially a sheet of heated plastic is placed over some kind of mould which then has the air sucked out from underneath it. The soft plastic schloops to the shape of the mould and when it cools you have yourself a robot part. It really does sound like schloop if you`re wondering.


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 

Seen on the Parallax Forums

Saw this in the Parallax forums (Thread), it's called the PropPad mini, and it's a Propeller with a nice hi-res tft display.  Looks like tripp has a few for sale, too - they're $100 which sounds pretty fair to me.




Walter Jr. / Mini Me / Little Walter / Little Buddy / Gilligan

Yup, Walter needs a little buddy. With a WiiCamera onboard, Walter now has the ability to track and follow IR beacons and thus, could in theory, play follow-the-leader and hide-and-seek. But to play these games, he is going to need someone to play with! I bring you Walter Jr. aka Mini me aka Little Walter aka Little Buddy aka (the most famous "little buddy") Gilligan. The main deal with Gilligan is the fact that he has no budget. None. Nada. No money. He is going to have to be built out of whatever I have on hand.

How to synchronise two CMOS Camera Modules for Stereo Vision

It has been a while since my last posting on this topic. In the meantime I made significant progress as you can see here:

Autobot, work not even started and finally got the clearance to start...

This is blog is written so that Birdmun and other people can help me find parts for and make my bot. The bot is going to be a multi phase development. The final objectives of the bot will be- navigate through a room full of junk while following a wall to find a can of coke, identify the object and bring it back to the start point.

The phases of development-

1) Make a bot that had 4 legs (ie quadped), and is able to navigate the room without hitting anything (obstacle avoider). Pretty much like the start here robot.

PCB - The Making of Blaster Shark (Sumo)

The details of why I picked what parts I picked are covered in the Design blog.  What I am about to describe here is the tools and process I go through to design and etch my own PCB.

Circuit Design