Let's Make Robots!

Picaxxo :- The Picasso style painting robot, using a Hacked Wii-Mote as tracking system picking up an infrared triangle mounted to the back of a picaxe based robot.

Update :- I made it more interactive by porting the screen output to my Beamer (which is pointing at the floor), so now the virtual paint is really flowing out of the back of Picaxxo.

NonStream links Beaming Picaxxo & Picaxxo PaintsPicaxxo the Bot

With so many picaxe projects adorning the LMR fraternity, i had to jump into the old jalopy and see what all the magnetism was about.

The basic picaxe kit is a prototype/production kit sent to me curtesy of OddBot (DAGU Hi-Tech Electronic Co., Ltd. )

as he heard that i was wanting to dive into picaxe and needed a multitasking programming board.

My project consists of two parts :-

Lower board is the Motor controller, drive, 1*20 pin socket  supporting 08M, 14M, 20M or 20X2 picaxes, 

Upper board has sockets for 28x1 and 40x1 picaxe

Both boards have more than enough tracks and holes for most needs though you have to be careful of some of the track runs.

I choose one 28x1 and two 08Ms as a starting point.

I decided on two 08Ms to take some of the strain off the 28x1 as it was already controling the motors with PWM plus counting the pulse off 2 encoder wheels.

one 08M  is controlling the servo and Maxbotix EZ1 Sonar

second 08M is controlling a RF Rx link board - for remote option

The Dip switch is to isolate the servo and maxbotix wiring - during the test phase.

The 28x1 talks to the  08Ms via serial link (08m dont have i2c)

The maxbotix EZ1 is mounted on an upsidedown servo - ie servo horn is glued to the base - i found out that the weight of the servo damps down its own movement, so absolutely no servo jitter even though its driven off the same supply rail as the picaxe.

The Prototyping "Rats Nest" is for  testing the Maxbotix EZ1 sonar to decide whether analog or pwm would be better (analog won)



Here is a neat picaxe programming gadjet i made for my breadboard

(you only have to solder female headers to you circuit board and attach this for programming)

It was hacked out of an old CD rom drive.........

Onto the Drive Mechanism :- two geared motors and one ball caster (noisy little beast)

I "VeggieBurged" the battery supply with two Lipos(HotGlued - safety devise ...when they overheat or go "thermal melt down" then they should theoretically drop off allowing the bot to escape the flames).

The open gearbox was calling for some Wheel Encoders - basically 2 QRD1114s detecting silver and black bands on gears.

I basically stuck silver adhesive wrapping paper over the gear and painted black bars with acrilic paint - if you look closely you can see the funky silvery circle pattern foil i used , the resulting pulse ouput was reasonalbly "Swiss Alp_ish" so good enough for me.

Installed a RF Rx link module for remote control as i wanted to be able to control it manually

The bottom half of the 40pin ic socket helped ...............

Control box is a little basic, however it was made for another project yet to be blogged


The last part brought the whole project together............

The Infra Red Tracking Mechanism


Take a triangular piece of wood and attach an infra red led to each corner , i used QRD1114s as they where at hand at the time and then can even double as ambient light level sensors or even touch contact switches.........

Hot Glued some clothes pegs onto a Wiimote, this allows me to attach it to the light fitting on my ceiling

The Wiimote looks down onto the floor serveying the "Picasso Paint Pit" or tracking zone if you like.

The Rest is a simple Bluetooth connection using Johnny Chung Lee Wiimote software.

This software takes control over the mouse, meaning that you can start your favorite art package and let the robot take control.

The result you can see in my Videos .............. and here for taster

The Picaxxo is Autonomously making all the paint strokes based on the information it receives within its environment

Your interpretation of these pictures would be greatly welcome - what can you see in them ?

I hope to broadcast some of my work live here :-

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/gareth-lmr/v3

  I will shout in the shout box when i go live - some live work has been done already, then you can can see what goes on behind the scenes........

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fritsl's picture

What a magnificento, and impressimo projecto this has become!

The "Here is a neat picaxe programming gadjet i made for my breadboard" - part really deserbes a solo Tip/Walkthrough, I think. These things could even be manufactured and sold :)

man with the plane's picture

It is the best painting robot I have every saw and the first

Gareth's picture

Picaxxos 3rd work :- Video of this in action above

Now i have beamed the picture on the floor where the robot is painting - so WYSIWYG

Meaning he is more interactive.

ignoblegnome's picture

I'm enjoying Picaxxo's art work on my desktop. Can you post higher res images somewhere?

Gareth's picture

Hoi ig,

Yes i am also using the pictures as background........... all his own painting (just had to ease him onto the canvas a few times)

Here are some links to his art folder :-

Picaxxo 1st

Picaxxo 2

Picaxxo 3

They are better resolution.........(-: next time i will wind up the res. a little more :-)

flokos's picture

A good idea is to change somehow the size of the triangle in order to change the distance between the points that are recognised as markers or whatever and make different drawings.

amando96's picture

Love the name

OddBot's picture

I've re-read your post and I'm still not sure about something. The arrow shape? Is the Johnny Chun Lee software using this shape or was it just for you to see on the screen which direction the robot was facing?

It would be interesting to add a line follow sensor to the robot. You could "Seed" the artwork with a picture and then have the robot do an interperative version.

Perhaps using RGB sensors instead of infrared so it could respond to or copy colours it sees on the floor.

Gareth's picture

I am glad you asked this question........

I am torn at the momment between choosing JCLs software and some code i modified in visual C.

I have not studied his code in depth so not sure how many spots he uses.(it works for Picaxxo)

My modified code does look at the 3 spots of infrared and finds the center of the 3 spots as well......

... my modified code will eventually be able to measure each side of the triangle and thus work out which is the short side (meaning this is the back of the bot) so then the orientation is fixed.

What i present with Picaxxo is only the start of my journey into tracking..........I will post more video shortly for better explanation.

TofuRobot's picture

OMG. What Ultrasonic is that. It looks exacctly like the one I wanted to buy. But I didn't buy it because I didn't know how to hook it up to the PICAXE and program it. So I choose the PING instead. But I think that one has a bigger range.