So here we go... I have been sick of "regular" navigation for quite a while now (more than a year now). The whole idea of "just keep going and if there is something there, react to it" is just not doing it for me any more. For the last year or so, I have been thinking about and working on a new system of "may I go". The theory is basic: Before you start going somewhere, check that there is somewhere to go! In the system I am using now, a 180 degree scan is performed and the sonar readings and angle is sent to processing.
This is the MAAHR project. MAAHR stands for Most Advanced Amateur Humanoid Robot. The goal is to design, build and program a robot which is similar sophisticated as ASIMO. The project is completely open source, everybody can participate. I'll sponsor MAAHR with 15000USD for hard-, software and logistic.
Inspired by the Rip Saw tank, I have designed a new robot chassis called the T'REX tank chassis. I finally received all the parts for the prototype chassis. The entire chassis including gearboxes and tracks are all metal. The tracks have been anodized a gun metal grey colour.
I have been thinking for a long time about how to harness the power of the internet into programming robots. I can imagine a robot here which I give some form of task. Let's say (and this would be relevant) finding a wall socket and plugging itself in. The task of successfully identifying a wall socket, moving the robot to a correct location, and inserting some sort of plug would seem monumental.
I wrote a tiny function in Arduino-C for my sensor-jitter problems. You can smooth out your sensor readings with this little function. You can input the smoothness and then get back the smoothed sensor value.
If somebody needs it - here it is:
// Jan Przybilla, Rosk, Farbtonstudio.de // SSR - Smooth Sensor Readings // Fight the (((Jitter)))!
After playing with the Robot Builder's Shield, I've decided to make a small robot board that has the same features as the shield. I wanted it to be 2"x2" (5x5cm) so it can be fabricated cheap and to be appealing to many robot builders that still build small robots.
Some time ago I had a great idea: I'm going to make two robots. One will be an obstacle avoider and its job will be just wander around with its big head. The other bot will then try to catch it and hit the head with a hammer. Tracking would be done with infrared leds and phototransistors. For the time being I've pretty much completed the first part and posted Head. Head already has infrared leds on its head so next thing would be building an infrared tracker.
The Making of a Robot including Mcu for less than $20
This project was devised to show how easily it is to make a robot on limited funds. It is a good "Starting Off" Robotic base as it can be easily changed and transformed. This is just the start of the project and there are many additions planned for it.
I have seen a few people asking questions about controlling Mr. basics motors. One problem is that they draw more current than an L293D can handle. A L298N will do the job but you will want at leat 6V. Below is a schematic of the simplest way I know of to control your motors. Using a 5V relay you can run from 3.6V to 6V. I suggest a 9V relay if you want to use 7.2V.