Let's Make Robots!

H.E.C.To.R (Home Experimental Computerized Toy Robot)

Avoid obstacles
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Hector was my school project- we each had to make and program something using the inputs and outputs of the MC68HC11 microcomputer at DeVry.  I already had the gearmotors and wheels connect to the base before I took the class. 

The motors were operated by 4 relays in a H-bridge configuration.  I built that for my very first attempt at building robot, "Rodney" from David Heisermann's TAB book, "How to Build Your Own Self-Programming Robot".  Unfortunately, it was too big for Hector, so I had to rip it up, unsolder things and put it back together on a smaller scale.

He was programmed in assembly and basically just avoided walls using Infra-red proximity detection circuits.  He had bumper switches, but I don't think I ever connected them.

I was also able to use Hector for my final project.  I wanted him to locate a candel and put it out, but the school wouldn't let me use a compressed CO2 canister, so we had balloons tied to it and it just approached a candel until a balloon popped.

Other team members were responsible for creating a "head" that would scan for UV light using a stepper motor and send the approximate location to my board and I would get it turn towards that zone using a homemade shaft encoder.

We got the damn thing working correctly for the first time the night before the projects were to be judged- and I couldn't test it for too long, because it took almost 2 days to charge up all the NiMH batteries with my 1 battery charger.

Anyway, he searched for a fire painfully slowly, and we came in 4th place, which I considered a miracle at the time.

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hi jim  a grand job, there but where's  the video have you used a bike disk brake for a wheel encoder?

Sorry, we did make a video of it, but I never got a copy.  The encoder was a kitchen sink strainer from a $0.99 store spray-painted black.

What's a MC68HC11? I'm intrigued.

The Moto CPU was used in all of David P Anderson's robots from long ago. Impressive bots IMHO. More about him and his bots here: http://www.geology.smu.edu/~dpa-www/myrobots.html Here is a long video of him talking about it too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CXReb7f0Eo&sns=em

Thanks for that link!  Never even heard of this guy before

It's a microcontroller from Motorola- you can google more info.  It was in a motherboard that was given to us and we used it in labs