Let's Make Robots!

Advice on my next robotics project.

Hmm, I decided to come here on the off chance some one might be able to give me some advice.

I wouldn't say I'm an "absolute" beginner as I do have some experience with robotics, but its only been from kits, I haven't built and programmed something from scratch yet. Over the years I have collecteda great deal of items which I feel may be useful to create some form of robot, but its hard to know exactly where to start. Here are the details as follows:

  • A Rover 5 robot chassis
  • A POP-BOT standard kit
  • A Robosapien V2
  • A Chumby One

I've already built robots which can follow lines, detect and avoid obsticules when they have been bumped into, and can move around an area using a IR sensor. I'm really eager on starting something which will take my skills to the next level, starting small with a base and then building it up as I go along. I guess my main problem is dealing with the jargon which I encounter alot when reading the manuals (I've been working from the book "Robot Builder's Bonanza, Third Edition by Gordon McComb and Myke Predko.)

Really any advice for starting an advanced project would be helpful, as its going to be quite an undertaking.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

how abou a sumo?
its got similar capabilities, but more refined for a more demanding use.

or how about a 'little drummer bot'?
check it out if you are not familiar.

also check out the 'challenges' section of this website.


That Rover chassis is a good base, there's some nice motors and such in it. Go for a flat base with wheels. That way you can just add some spacers and make another "platform" for mounting stuff.

Hmm, interesting, I will have to look into it. I have somewhat of an idea what I wanted, and the sumo bot does look intriguing. Thanks for your advice.

Ro-Bot-X and I were collaborating on a Next-Generation robot.  I am the developer of MyRobotLab (MRL) - an open source swiss army knife robot framework.   It has voice recognition, speech generation, computer vision, internet connectivity, remote control and many other services which can be loaded and unloaded as desired.   We were working on a Chumby bot until he fried his Chumby by overpowering it with a battery.

Before that happened we were very successful in getting most of the MRL services to work with the Chumby... (impressive little device)

You can read about some of it here .  The ARM cross-compiling was a challenge, but (thankfully) all that is done now.

If you interested in pursuing a Chumby bot, I might be of assistance.

Currently, I'm working on a predator like object tracking/identification service for MRL.  To be followed by Kinect sensor integration.

Wow, that sounds really amazing! Of course, I believe that I would need to connect the chumby up to an arduino for such things as motor control, but that certainly sounds like something I'd be interested in.

Ro-Bot-X makes his own Arduino clone/motor-control board (uBotuino)
Arduino would be fine - Do you have one already? or some other micro-controller - (e.g. PicAxe, Prop, Stamp)? 

Perhaps the Rover - 5 + Chumby + Arduino + Motor Controller would be a good combination.

Does the Robosapien have enough power to backpack a Chumby?  That might be a pretty cool project.

Do you have a motor controller for the Rover 5?

Does the Pop-bot have enough power to carry around the Chumby?

Do you have a usb webcam you can plug into the Chumby?

Sky's the limit .... 

Which arduino is the best for this job? There are two which seems to be favourties, the Arduino Uno and the Arduino Mega 2560. I think the Mega is used alot mainly because it has alot more ports, but its also about twice the price of the uno.

The BBB is one of my favorites because its so inexpensive @ $16.95 - you just need to solder in the parts..

I would use what you have... if you have one... but if you don't any would do.. the BBB also comes with analog input capacitors - to keep the signals clean ... it really smooths it out as I can show in this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Ofg5He0k18&feature

They all are good....  It depends if you are going to have alot of things to control or a few...




Do you have wireless to the Chumby?

Can you port forward a port to the Chumby?

This is what Ro-Bot-X did to get me access to the Chumby, it worked quite well and we sped development considerably...   
Just an idea.