Let's Make Robots!

My first robot, RP-01

RP-01_example.bas18.5 KB

***As demanded I added a code example of his code. It is really messy and has comments in swedish, finnish and english. As my laptop broke down on me, this is a code I found on a USB stick. It is not his final code, but it works.


'Digital outputs:
'    0    servo 0            Head
'    1    Piezo             Sound 1
'    2    LCD                Serout 2
'     3    SRF-005            Pulse
'    4,5,6,7                MOTORS trough L293D

'Digital inputs:
'    0    Infra                           irin
'    1    Driving lights               High portc 1
'    2    Bumperswitch             if pin2 = 1 then
'    3    Tunnelmavalaistus( red mood-light)        High Portc 3
'    4    LASER                      high portc 4
'    5    Linesensor IR-LED      high portc 5
'    6    SRF-005       
'    7    mouth-lights                high portc 7

'Analog inputs:
'    1    Sharp        readadc 1,b1
'    2    LDR        readadc 2



***Uppdate 17 august -10

Finally I got my lasy ass to finish this blog and make a video of my first robot. He has ben ready for over 6 months. 

Thanks LMR for all the free information and hospitality!






The making of RPO

I was going to attend a lecture in a course called designing machine parts, but our professor had a important meeting somewhere on the other side of the world. So instead another professor had a lecture about mechatronics. I was stunned.

I have always been interested in mechanical things, woodworking and electronics. Programming is not my  strongest skill, but I know the basics in java and have programmed some everyday useful programs to my mobile phone.

Suddenly I realized that mechatronics is just the right way to combine many interesting things into one delicious project. Making a robot just suited me.

I decided to make a robot a week ago, and thanks to this site my robot is now working although with very basic navigation. (pretty much copy paste from "start here" with some additional features)


I ordered the parts 8those witch I could not find in my country9 online and started to build the base of my robot. so when my picaxe 28x1 arrived on Monday it already had its own place.

I added some additional features to my project right away. A piezo speaker, LED.s and I managed to hook up a LDR to one of the inputs so my RP-01 knows how bright/dark it is.



RP-01 is still under construction.  I need to seal the electronic components (make a hood) and Make it navigate correctly.

For now my program only makes the robot drive forward end stop when it comes to close to a wall. Then it looks right and left and decides which way to go. If you put your hand in front of it, it will move backwards. When it gets dark it puts on its "driving lights", and when it gets even darker it stops.  It makes different sounds depending on what it sees/do.

PS. Sorry for my bad English






Yesterday some more parts arrived in my mailbox. (I made my own cable for the shapr sensor, but it was not so good so I decided to order a "real" cable). And when I was paying for the shipping already, why not order a extra servo and a extra pair of eyes for upcomming  robot projects? :)

Today i am gonna drink beer and just play with programming editor and try different codes on my robot. It is still very stupid... 



'''''''*******************  Uppdate 7.12 (or12.7, anyway december...)


 Have had problems of thinking about anything other than robots the last days... :D

I have tried many different ways of teaching my little Rp-o to navigate better. Some of them have worked better than others but I am not quite satisfied with any of them. It migth be that I never will be. I am trying to use different ranges and sectors to make him do different things depending on where he sees an object. A big problem has been making it understand that he is in a corner, but I am working on it

I have also made a hood out of the same plastics as the rest of the bot , AND I have added a small servo with tilt so that Rp-o can look up and down.

 RP-01 with new servo



Yesterday I was checking my bank account and found out that  the
tax refund had come. And it was more than I imagined

 soo... I ordered some more parts! heheh... What I ordered will be a surprise for you!

I will have to read about how to change the digital inputs on a picaxe 28-x1 to digital outputs because my 8 outputs are alredy full.

(-motors (4), servos(2),piezo and lights) 


- I will have much to do in school for the following two weeks, but I hope to get some time to work on RP-01.

 I will uppdate this again when something new has happend.



 '''''''*******************  Uppdate 27.12.2009

 I have been reading and experimenting a lot. With everything. Here is RP-01 today

 I have added a LCD display (16*2, serial), changed the Sharp sensor to a SRF-005 ultrasonic and added Infrared control (picaxe infrared upgrade).

I tried to have a tilt/shift servo for the head, but did not like it so i removed the servo but the "head" suited him/it :)  fine so I left it there. ( I did not likeit cause all my output ports are full, and yes I am aware of the portc command, but as far as I know there is no way to use it with motors, servos, piezo or srf-005. If anybody knows some way to make any of those work from a digital input let me know, will you.)



 I am going to add the Sharp sensor back and make it look at the ground in an angle so that it doesn't fall down stairs or other sudden edges. I am going to put a Bumper switch in the front so that if he hits something small he can turn away from it.

 I have been experimenting with custom characters with the LCD. He will probably be smoking cigarettes soon... bad robot!

There have been many problems along the rode, but I hope to solve as many of them as possible before I can call this project ready.

For now I can control Rpo with a remote or have him in autonomous mode. (change the mode with the remote). I am mostly using the LCD for debugging, witch I am doing a lot.


Uppdate 17.8 2010

RPO is ready!

This is RPO today



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Nice use of those polymer sheets for the body, looks very tidy. Did you get those fittings on the ends of the wheel shafts from a terminal block?

BTW The English in your posts is fine, don't worry so much about it =)

Yes! You have a sharp eye (not the IR-sensor kind of sharp) ! They are from terminal blocks.

I was able to bend the polymer sheets to a 90 degree angle with a hot air gun.

Your robot looks really good, I'm sure soft will be ok.

I'll wait for a video :)

really nice, I like the design and how you used materials...  I have something similar in mind, with treads,  to get started with an arduino I just got.





Any chance you can post the outlines for the body parts you made out of polymer. I would like to build something similar with a mcuh larger scale using aluminum.


I appreciate your time.

I am sorry but I do not have full plans of the robot (only used cad software to sketch the design) i just tested my way by first putting the wheels and threads on a wood sheet and cut it out with a scrollsaw.

 but. the distance between my axis (shafts) are 12 cm and 8 cm. (total about length 16 cm, heigth 9.5 cm measured from the corners of the thread)


I have also thougt about building something much bigger in the future, but that requires the use of bigger motors = bigger power supply and then some "motor-driver-circuit" that makes it so thet the higher voltage dosent go trough the microcontroller.

Chris the carpenter have made something for that. But for now I just have to improve my programming skills.





Nice job and awesome "First" robot!

How thick are these polymer sheets you've used? I recon 3 or 4 mm? How is construction strenght?

They are 3 mm thick made from Styrene. I was able to use a hot air gun to bend them to 90 degree angle and I would say the construction strength is very robust.

(one part on the bottom of R-P-0 ismade of an old plasticic-scraper. Do not know the material of that but some other plastic part, also bent to 90 degree with hot air gun.)




May you provide info where we can find something like yours?


Really really good job on your bot!

well I collected the parts from different places


-picaxe 28x1

-servo uppgrade pack

 - L293D motor driver

-Miniature LDR

Miniature Piezo Transduce

(mostly parts from England, since i live in Finland and the shipping from US and all the taxes etc...blabla..)

as I was ordering and had to pay for the shipping I also ordered small extra parts just for future uppcomming projects



rest of the parts i found in Finland

 (or local and local...  to get my motors and threads so that I could start build my project before I received my picaxe i had to make a 1.5 hour drive... :) althoug i live in the capital of Finland)