My First Robutt
Pretty basic following of Frits' awesome 'Start Here' robot. I bought all the parts from Solarbotics and Robot Shop with a few random things that I forgot from Pololu (like that way too huge speaker that I thought was much smaller when I bought it). Since it's my first robot the costs are a tad inflated since I didn't have any stuff like wires or resistors or a Picaxe starter kit laying around. I also didn't include the cost of tape so I guess you can add another $10 or so.
Pretty simple, it wanders around and when it comes to an obstacle he figures out which way is better to go. I added a couple random behaviors to make it seem more interesting. First off I noticed that he was getting stuck when he ran into a wall or other tight spot (couldn't turn around), so now he tries to turn himself around three times before backing up and doing a 180 (playing an annoying sound before he does that). Also if he is moving straight for long enough (doesn't encounter an obstacle) he'll look around and go towards the closest thing he can find.
I've noticed that the IR sensor isn't the most accurate thing in the world and I'm not quite sure what to do with the numbers it gives me. I found some stuff on how to convert an SRF05's values to in/cm but not so much for the Sharp which seems to return higher values the closer it is to something. Not sure, that or maybe I have it hooked up in reverse or something weird like that. It's also not very good with seeing stuff above or below it, so he can get stuck in odd places (for example conditions are just right for him to get stuck at the overhang of my kitchen cabinets).
He's also a tad slow, which is I guess due to only 4.5V powering the whole thing and the voltage drop over the L293? (I'm pretty new to this electronics stuff, haven't really done much with it since college, and that was all logic circuits, not electrical stuff). I think separate power sources for motors and the rest of the thing would be a good start.
Either way it was a pretty fun project and I've already ordered some more stuff including more powerful motors, tracks, some line sensors an SRF05 and a few other random items. Not entirely sure what I'm going to cook up just yet but it'll be fun to make!
Don't get too attached to him because he's going to be looted for parts in short order!
Start Here Bot lives on in the hearts of us all, but tragically he lost his brains during a transplant operation. He will be missed! However lessons learned from this brave soul will be carried over to future generations of robutts! Let us all enjoy a moment of silence for our fallen friend.