Let's Make Robots!

FINISHED: LazyBee Security Bot - Laptop Based solution for Dummies

Inter/Intranet controlled robot able to send video/voice/email and play with my kid from the office

Hi all,

 I'm from The Netherlands and have a nice little girl that wants me to build a robot. Well, easier said then done so far. Since I'm an IT consultant I wanted to use a windows based solution to control the bot over the internet. Why? Because windows can do lot's of things that will be pretty hard to programm otherwise. Well for me that is..... With the laptop solution it will be pretty easy to talk, see and even play with my daughter. She will be at home, I will be on my lunchbreak :)

Looked for some advice and some projects that go arround but so far all are pretty complicated and require pretty much skill to realise.

So here's the plan, I will add the progress as I go along.

Build a driving chassis - Done

Set up a laptop that can control servos and dc motors - Done

Set up wireless comms with the home network and the internet - Done

Make the bot accessible by using RDP (I love microsoft) - Done + Teamviewer (free internet tool)

Hooking up all the goodies (like a webcam and so on) - Done, the bot uses Skype amongst others

Dive into sensors and a way to make the bot smart........ Done, got it roaming and smoking

UPDATE, 21th june 2010:

Since I smoked the board with the sensors and basically reached my goal, a roving platform carrying arround a laptop with webcam etc. I'll close this project  for now. I'll get another control board and start up a new project shortly. Well I already started one but didn't get arround the pictures yet. Anyhow, for a first robot this was a good project that gave lots of learning experiences already. Things can only get better now ;) Sorry for making it kind of a mess, all has to do with a lesson I learned long ago when modelling planes and ships, get the equipement first so you know things will fit. Somehow I forgot (so there's lots of different platforms in this post, all just not good enough). The new bot will be smaller, lighter and yes, MEANER. :)

UPDATE, 6th may 2010:

Well, since Madrid was that inspiring, with Frits breaking futuristic cars, Antonios contemplating about his next project, Tinhead raging against his valkyrie and Rik picking barfights I had to come up with something new. Size is were it all starts. Let me elaborate on that; build a robot, post it on the internet and before you know you are stuck somewhere on the globe with a bunch of people that made the same mistake. Some are lucky and some are less fortunate. Lucky the ones that can walk home with a small bot, unlucky the ones that have to travell far with a small bot, really unlucky the ones that have to travell far with a heavy bot. Totally (*&#!*@! the ones that have to travel to Romania with a CNC machine. ;)

So go small.

Since the bot carries the laptop I couldn't go much smaller then the laptop itself. The weels looked too big so I had to replace them (well to be honest I started over the whole thing). I also added 2 extra ping sensors.

It's still under construction....... I have so many wheels at the moment :)

Still need to sand the edges. The upper part is just a try out, that will change a lot as soon as some new parts arrive.

My son loves it, to much. Pretty happy I used1.8cm furniture wood and aloi. It can take a beating. My daughter is still in doubt, a robot or a Hercules action figure?!

And just when things where to good to be true an evil spirit took control of the bot. I was lucky enough to carry arround an empty bottle of red wine so I was just in time to get myself a spirit in a botlle. It's been on the table for the last 30 minutes but I think I will open it. The freaking thing won't shut up! :)))

So remember kids! Robots have souls and are alive!


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Nagyon köszönöm ;)
Magyarok mindenhol ott vannak! :) Grat a robothoz.

I uploaded a little video where it runs a small program to blink the leds. Also got the first parts of the arm together.


Looks a bit solid but i will cut out some bits and pieces when the servo's arrive. I got some 6kg ones on the way but have no clue yet on what the lifting capacaty will be. Hoping on 500 grams to a kilo.


The ping sensor with brackets will go between the front lights. Now hurry up mailman :)

Reduced the weight of the arm a little and cut out the servo holes


Once I got this sorted right a friend of mine (he's a metal worker) is going to rebuild it out of aluminium. If anyone is interested I might get him to make a couple of them for probably a very reasonable price (normally thats just the price of the metal being used). It's my first arm (well it's my first everything here) so I am just going for logic. If I'm screwing up or not making sense somewhere please tell me :)


And here it is, fully erected (I know it sounds terrible)


Well, as you can see this thing is taking me by the hand. Not anything close to what I had in mind when I started. But it's just to much fun! My daughter already danced with the thing :) The bot flashing its lights and my daughter just bouncing arround it.

Base is a bit wiggly so i have to fix that. The arm has yellow bee paint striping now and some more plastic foil. Weight of the MDF is dissapointing to even with the holes out.


Well its looking like a bot already.....


For now I got 2 sensors to play with (starting with the movement detector, just a switch that should turn things on its on the plastic dome)


And the well known PING)))) Now please servo's, arrive quickly.

To fix the wiggly base I got a couple of little rollers, exactly 18mm as I needed (luck was on my side this time). Some hinges for the top-plate and some screws. It's the little stuff that will add to the cost most I guess. More pic's tonight.

Still wondering how to make a hole in the plexiglass dome (for the PIR sensor). Don't really want to use some wooddrilling equipement on it because I'm affraid it will break the dome entirely.

A very clean looking robot so far, I like where you're going with it.
Oh, and don't forget that the PIR sensor won't be of any use while the bot is moving, since stationary objects will appear (to the bot) to be moving instead =)

Haha, yeah I figured that. What I will try to do is make it run a program as soons as it detects movement. This will run for a period and will then stop the bot again (and activate the sensors after it stopped).

Got the ping))) attached and drilled a hole for the PIR sensor. I also added the little wheels to the base of the gripper platform. This helps quite a bit but I guess I have to get me one of these servo slowing down thinggies. The speed of the servo in combination with the weight of the gripper just gives to much momentum to keep things in one part.


Well it's just a first little experiment. I might re-do the chassis entirely when things work but with a little more accuracy and sensibility to get a real tight fit on all parts. To be honest I'm already starting to get low on space and I still need to install the computer.


I don't really like the swivel wheel neither. Might get 2 other full sized wheels. Just for looks.


Order is still pending in hong kong (hobbycity.com) due to chinese new year. Damn. If you go and buy something there make sure to create an account b the way, prices when logged in are MUCH cheaper.