Let's Make Robots!

The Gunnerator - My mobile robotics test base

Drives around, primarily via remote "telepresence" control.

This is my current, somewhat ongoing robotics project.

The base is from an old RAD 1.0 robot toy from the 80s I think...  I gutted, modded and painted it up for use as a mobile test base for learning with.  Introducing Gunnerator - Mark I

Gunnerator - Mark I

It has the original two speed "transmission" currently servo controlled for high and low gear and I am running a 12v AGM 4Ah battery, feeding a L298N based Motor Driver board.  This is controlled by the EZ-B interface board, that in turn communicates via Bluetooth or USB-TTL interface to my PC or one of my laptops.  

I am currently using this base and controller to renew and expand my years old and partialy abandoned interest in electronics and robotics... finaly :)

Jan 2013 UPDATE - I have modified Gunnerator (lets call it Gunnerator - Mark II) with on-board PC and extra deck space, as listed below, and am currently using it as a mobile base to test programming an Arduino for use as the replacement brain, to allow untethered conrtol, as well as tele-presence experiments and programming for semi-autonomous action.  While I am marking this posting as finished... in reality nothing ever is :)

Feb 2013 update - I finaly got around to posting a YouTube video of Gunnerator - Mark II... check it out :)

Feb 2013 update (Part 2) - Being just a little too top heavy and having limited upward visual range for the pan & tilt camera had me modifing Gunnerator into his current version - Mark III


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Very cool - Lots of opportunity with the netbook. You can do all kinds of things running it either alone with a servo or motor controller or in conjunction with a micro controller.

I've enjoyed running my LTBot2 (http://letsmakerobots.com/node/34323) tele-presence bot around the house when I'm gone like that. I've had the same issue trying to run the built in cam and the pan/tilt cam at the same time - just not enough power there I guess to drive the vid on both at the same time. I'm using LogMeIn on mine for remote control which seems to work pretty well. Pretty sure TeamViewer is basically the same thing.

Thanks for the pics/info on the speed changer. I AM going to have to drag my RAD out and stick my Arduino Uno board on it just to play with that stuff. Currently the one RAD I started hacking has a noisy pinion gear but it's still running. Those things are pulling pretty good prices on ebay which is kind of amazing to me.

Also I'll try to get some pics posted somewhere on the encoder setup I did a few years back. Tracks aren't the best platform for dead reckoning but SOME information is better than none and it could drive a pretty good square back then. Add a compass to keep the heading corrected and I think it would be reasonably accurate.

Keep us posted and keep up the cool work.

Makes me want to get one of my old RADs back out and work on it again. :-)
Nice setup with lots of opportunity to add features and create some cool code.

I'm interested in how you setup the servo to switch Hi/Lo gearing. That is something I had wanted to do if I ever went further with my old RAD platform.

I did add some QRB1114 encoders to the gear box for dead reckoning which worked back when I was playing with it. I can post some pics sometime if you’re interested. You simply paint the one big gear ½ black, make a cut in the gear box for the sensor to see through and add code to read it. Not a quad encoder but was better than nothing to me. I don't remember the resolution either but it's much better than at the wheel/track level.

Collected and watching. ;-)



I also have this mod for my rad tracks rover. Mine is a little more getto as in it consisted of hot glue and a 9g servo mostly lol.

Hello Stephen and thanks,

Here are some pictures that show the method for switching gears via servo control.  Can't take full credit as I saw it done elswhere and just tweeked it to make it work for me.

Your encoder hack sounds like a great idea... I might try it out and post the results.  Feel free to post your pics if you are able.

Made small bracket and attached to gear knobServo horn, screws and washersShowing horn temporarily attached to bracket... removed and screwed horn to servo before permanent attachment.Servo mounted and secured.

Nice build. I really like the paint job. You made a very nice integration of components from different sources.