Cool Happenings on LMR this week (2008W46)
November 15, 2008
Let it be known to the world, once more, that letsmakerobots.com is a very live community indeed!
Here is the harvest for the past couple of weeks, or so (Week 2008 dot 46).
Karolyn is one new arrival who did not sit on the fence for long. She wrote about how she is running a robot education programme for Canadian elementary schools. She hands over robot ideas to a local engineer, who is now busy building her a Drumming Robot. She literally takes these creations on the road. Looks like YDM is making a Grand Tour through the snowy country, with groupies and everything. Whooptiedoo!
robot that has no cute face, or even locomotion! I doubt the kids in class will approve. Maybe if Zanthess would allow more than four spoons of sugar in her tea?
(video down below)The page with the rating system debate consumed all the stars I could muster this week. Frits (with an s, never a z and sometimes an l) is looking for web programmers to make letsmakerobots.com an even cooler place. Inquiries at node 2930.
One of the many wishes on the list would be a more prominent house style for the website. A logo has already been officially selected by Frits.
Some members are now wishing to have that logo on LMR swag like Techie T-shirts or Arty (worn out?) baseball caps.
Remember the motto of robot building guys! Start small, build on your previous results.
Another challenge has been won and the prize has been awarded already.
The winner Nick was pleased as punch with his collection of electronic components. I reckon.
Check out this Ranger/Sizer/Tracker using dual IR sensors on pivoting mounts on top of a pivoting mount. Sometimes doubling the hardware is just double the trouble. But mintvelt also added his smarts. His future robots will all look cross eyed. And maybe a few more bots on LMR after that. Keep sharing the development people!
Just getting an LED to blink does not excite an LMR inventor for a long time. CaptainTuna is looking for a way to squeeze every little photon from an Infra-red LED without frying it. This is starting to look like proper fundamental research! And therefor I like it. And I know I’ll make good use of the results. Please do report on your findings, Captain!
On the same tangent, but at the opposite end of a photon beam, OddBot explained how to make the most of the few photons that do make it to your photo transistor.
Hooking up stuff to other stuff. That may be the definitive definition of hacking here on letsmakerobots. Finding out how to hook stuff up safely (we need a separate magic-smoke-forum at this rate!) or effectively or surprisingly happens in the forum. The results make it, hopefully, to the walk through section.
Chris the Carpenter for (one great) example found out that the “pwm signal” that an RC radio receiver gives to a servo can be read by a micro controller. The uC can feed that very info verbatim to any pwm loving device on your bot. Without interpretation or translation whatsoever. To me, it’s the verbatim part that makes this brilliant. Chris wrote/filmed this walk through. (video down below)
But the surprise did not stop there. BoA suggested that the signal received by the receiver does not necessarily have to come from any ordinary RC transmitter. It could be a hacked transmitter, Maybe a little assembler in a pic hooked up to the radio could turn it into a digital serial link. Maybe sending ascii data. Maybe multiplexing multiple servo control signals (albeit with degraded resolution). Could be a cheap EasyRadio.
Imagine what his Big One would be capable of when a programmer would write a Chris-speak interpreter, reading instructions from pre-recorded eeprom! (I am only partly in jest here. But that would be my usual M.O. I suppose.)
We need more oscilloscopes in our community.
OddBot described very clearly how he made and put to use, a sensitive compression sensor. This gives his robot the ability to “feel” how much force its pincer is applying onto an object.
TheCowGod reported in his blog how he got started in a new robot related hobby: machining. He understands the power of pictures! The blog thread remained restless with oohs and aahs for quite some time. I was a bit thrown by Dan’s revelation that he spent four times more on the tooling than on the actual mill.
The previous "Cool Happenings" were dated 2008W43.