"Dog" bot, time to get started!
February 3, 2012
After nearly a month of waiting (shipping was a nightmare) I finally have my picaxe 28X1 starter pack. I want to thank everyone on LMR for answering all my ridiculous questions before i jumped in! Now, for me to contribute back :)
The idea is simple, to creat a robo-pet (me and my wife cant have real pets in our apartment) that will be relativly light on hardware (i.e. a simple design) and heavier on programming. To design something simple, but has a lot of character and personality. For the chassis Im thinking of a hacked RC car. Radio shack has a sweet remake of the rebound (of course they would never admit its a rip off) for sale and I have my eye on it. our apartement is a little cramped in some areas so I think its best if the bot uses to motors on a 4wd setup instead of the front wheels turning ( I could see it getting stuck in a three hour, 10,000 point turn marathon to get out of a corner). As far as senses.... All I have right now is a sharp IR sensor, it just seemed like a good starting place.
I used to run with sweet RC cars so I know the building from the ground up motto "make one thing work" So I split up my view for the development of this thing into different steps.
#1) make the motors work, just get it all sorted out
#2) Make the SHR - I'd call it a small milestone :) thanks fritzl!
#3) Give it personality -more for aesthetics but I also had some programming ideas, like every once a a while it changes direction on its own, just to give it a better "explorer" look... maybe have it head toward light or something.
#4 Go Big or Go Home- This will be my "play around" step. Once Im comfortable with the bot, I want to push the programming hard...map the room, bark and stuff, chase a cat, object tracking, touch sensors (so you can scratch him behind the "ears") ... this is gonna be the real fun part, were it comes from being a machine to more :)
Anyway thats whats in production, my camera is on the bust so ill have pics of it up ( and then start a project page) asap. What I would really appreciate is any input on what senses would make this feel more "alive" Just sensing distance isnt enough I think. Any ideas on programming on how to make this bot seem more like a pet?
Thanks LMR, you guys really helped me out and I just wanted to contribute a little to show im thankful! Cheers!