Let's Make Robots!


Races around, taking photos of everything it hits

Update - added a front bumper switch

The switch is activated by a horizontal bar, and currently only triggers the camera to take a photo.




This is a "robot" that has been inspired by the powers of procrastination (I have a week and a half to go before my end-of-year exams).

Essentially, I have coupled a simple keychain camera (takes 25 photos, at 640x480) with a mobile base made from scraps lying around. It will use the solar panel for recharging, and a very simple (BEAM-style) logic-gate based circuit to move around. The behaviour will be as simple as moving forward until hitting something, taking a photo, then turning and driving off.

This is my first really simple robot, something to absorbe a percentage of my left-over parts pile!

I have extended the press-button for taking photos via a pair of wires, and that will be connected directly to a front bumper. This took a while, as I was working on an SMD switch with a 50W unregulated soldering iron...

I will update this again, when the control circuit is more detailed that just twisted wires and a switch :)



From the back, showing the plastic switch as a "castor"



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I think your gearing is wAy too low!

Yes, the gearing is a bit ridiculous! :D

I made those two geared motors ages ago, from the gearboxes out of a pair of micro IR-controlled RC cars. I haven't posted a video of it in action, because even on 1.5V, it belts along, but has hardly got enough torque to compress the front bumper switch (regardless of paralleling/serialling the motors)...

Oh well, I'll persevere, but I may replace the front bump sensor with an ir sensor, to give it a chance to stop before slamming into something, otherwise I will have to rename it to one-hit-wonder-bot! :D

Thanks for the comments, guys! I was digging through my piles of unused parts, and suddenly the idea hit me. If I was more creative, something like this could make become an interesting art project... :D

Re: the camera, it is a generic keychain camera, I think this one is made by Digigr8. As for specs, it can take 25 photos, stored in a volatile flash memory (loses them when the battery is removed). The photos are at 640x480, and it can take 60 of them at half resolution to make a "video". The photos are unloaded via a usb lead, and some software that came with the camera. Interestingly, the camera appears in My Computer as a Twain device, and you can be used as a webcam.

I just bough a 1.5v -> 5v dc to dc converter from sparkfun, so I can power some sort of 5v control circuit. The solar panel I have can charge the battery, and 1.5v is fine for the motors, and the camera.

could you tell us the features of the camera? or maybe the model so we can google it. I'm interested in taking pictures :)
points for the name...it made me lol.  :)
Fun idea!  This could be a whole new kind of photography.  ;)
Yeah, good points for an original concept!!