Let's Make Robots!

Thinking of XBee Communication, a few questions before I jump in

What I intend to do is create a wireless link between my robot and my laptop, for remote serial programming, and remote control.

I posess a PICAXE 28X1 project board that i wish to connect with an XBee module.

From what I've seen in http://www.rev-ed.co.uk/docs/axe210.pdf an AXE210 is suggested. On page 9 however, we find that the XBee is only connected to the AXE by three pins: two inputs and one output.

Schottky diode bridge IC for L298N?

Hi all!

Noob question: I'm using the L298N dual full H-bridge to drive my robot's 4 motors, can someone please give me the name of a chip that contains schottky diodes in a bridge configuration, so I can use it on the outputs to block back EMF? Sparkfun does the same on their boards: http://www.sparkfun.com/datasheets/Robotics/ROB-09571-Serial%20Controlled%20Dual%20Motor%20Driver%20-%20v11.pdf

I know that there are such ICs since I recall a friend using a 16-pin DIP in a similar occasion, but I can't remember it's name. I think it started with "L".

How would you spend $100?


I've been closely following this site for a few months now and am itching to start building robots and just nifty things with electronics. I've bought an Arduino Inventors kit from sparkfun, and I can say I'm fairly comfortable now with the basics but I have a very limited supply of parts. With university finals coming up I've decided to buy roughly $100 of parts as a little reward for myself at the end of exams. 

Tank tracks. Sources? Theory?

Hello all.


I am looking at tank tracks at the moment, and I want to ask two types of questions.

Firstly - theory

I am looking for a rescource which explains stuff like the theory behind tank tracks. What does good and bad design like? For model robots, does it make sense to use bogie systems etc. I'm guessing there is a lot of stuff on the net, but no idea what to put into google to get the results back that I am looking for. 

Can anyone throw up any useful links?

Second - Sources.

what cad tool?

SO I've recently got an UP 32 printer, but am not sure what application to use to model my new robot in - they all seem to have various advantages / disadvantages. The ultimate question for this topic is: What cad tool to use? Some of my findings are below but I've still not found something I'm happy with.

Homemade Artificial Muscles from Nylon Fishing Line

There was an exciting discovery that hit the news last month -- researchers at the University of Texas learned that appropriately coiled nylon monofilament line could be used to make heat-activated artificial muscles. Here's an article on it: http://io9.com/scientists-just-created-some-of-the-most-powerful-muscl-1526957560  I've had some success duplicating their work as a hobbyist -- in particular, I've gotten one of these muscles to lift a suspended ferrite core about a centimeter, then relax again.

Voice Recognition for 60 bucks...

So I saw this guy over at Spark Fun...

Tricopter - flights "Cancun" - "Insaine Fireworks" - "Warehouse"

These Tricopter flights just take your breath away.

His other WoW factor vids can be seen here  http://www.youtube.com/user/dadde87

LMR Robotic Online Football (Soccer)

I decided to resuscitate the LMR soccer game using my new µBipedino robots. The game will play as it was originally discussed, just with different players. These new robots can run around for about an hour on a fresh charge (when a Bluetooth module is attached), so the game will consist of 2 halves of 30 minutes each.

Robotic Bee Colony


I was out for the weekend and it seems there was a lot of talk on this subject. It happened that I had one of my bee hives swarm and I had trouble retrieving it. However, this gave me a thought of changing the theme a bit: Robotic Bee Colony. 

Response time slow on Python pySerial, RPi, and Arduino orchestration

I'm working on learning Python and orchestrating my Raspberry Pi to be my bot's brain.  Currently, my plan is to develop an orchestration code between the RPi and Arduino+Motor Shield using good old UART and pySerial.  Right now, I've written rough code to cause the RPi to act as a fancy wireless shield.  It is suppose to capture key strokes and send them to the Ardy.  The trouble I'm having at this stage is with key presses not getting delivered to the Arduino quick enough.  Also, if the key is held down, the key is not repeated like hoped.

Atmega + camera.

I have thought about atmega + camera idea too, but for use on atmega not sending. I looked at CMUcam but it wasn't so low-cost as it was advertised (100$ it too much). I found http://www.robotshop.us/sfe-cmos-camera-640-480.html . It seems cheap, microcontroller friendly and so on. Only problems are - SMD connections, killer programming and impossible debuging.


So, all thoughts and good links are welcome.

Wall Following RC car using 16F887

Here are two videos of my hobby level radio control car following the wall around a room.  This car uses channel 3 of the radio control system to toggle between RC control and autonomous control.



Good Stuff to scavenge from a cell phone

I just ripped apart an old Samsung SGH-T739.

Picture of Samsung t739

I was planning on using the vibration motor that is used for silent mode. As long as I have this thing torn apart, I'm curious about your ideas for what else might be good to use.