Let's Make Robots!

Ranger II snobot

Paul Flint and I came across a ranger II storm series wheelchair manufactured by invacare, as we are rather cheap guys we spent a couple months reverse engineering the motor control board. Built an arduino shield to send the control signals to the motor controllers. and you can see snobot Mark I in the picture and Mark II in the video. all schematics have been released under GPL v3 and more information can be found at http://docbox.flint.com:8081/snobot

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Thanks, I appreciate the advice, I am not the best at video production, As is shown in my highly critisized videos. I can say for any bot builders that are in Vermont, if you want to view the bot in peroson please go to the vermont mini-maker faire this weekend. The snobot will be there. 


Warmest Regards,


Chris Yarger.

I generally try not to be negative and try to encourage other bot builders but this one I have to say Where's The Beef? I couldn't sit through the 16 minute video of a description of a robot and here's what I got from the second clip:

Looks like you took a comfy, joystick controlled power chair and converted it into a not-so-comfy, computer keyboard controlled power chair. That's not an improvement. Now I'm not the best postitioned to critize others as I haven't gone very far with my bots either but at least they fit the description of the term 'robot'.

Guess I'm just in a speak my mind mood today but to all LMR bot builders - a remote controlled platform is not a robot. There are some seriously creative people on here but there's also a lot of 'robots' that are no more advanced than a remote controlled toy car. I worry myself that I haven't done enough to merit a 'robot page' here but let's up the standards a bit. I realize for some folks just getting an obstacle sensor working on a platform is an accomplishment and everyone has to start somewhere but let's get a little meat into the project and show your work even if it's held together with hot glue and string.

Looking forward to the next phase and please, we're more interested in the robot than we are (no offense) with you. :-)

I really think you should listen to the first video.  You don't need to watch it, just put it on in the background while you code or something.

You'll realize that he's doing much more than putting a computer keyboard on a power chair.

Also, if my remote controlled platform is not a robot - what should I call it for shorthand?  Personally, I'm always open about how my robots in non-autonomous mode are "parabots", which while I can't remember the book, I read was the technical name for a remote controlled robot vs "autobot" which is the technical name for an autonomous robot.  I will try to find my source to back up the claim.

I listened to some of the "video". I stopped listening after being told for now the Ping looks in one direction, they have plans to put the Ping on a servo. So great, he has plans to move up to "Roaming with Ping" from the Boe-Bot exercises.

I'm not a fan of talking head videos and much less a fan of talking arm pit videos. I've made some videos almost as bad as what was posted but I had the decency not to post them to YouTube.

I don't really like it when people use portrait mode when recording with a camera phone but if they do they should at least figure out how to rotate the output before posting it.

I'm personally surprised there isn't more critism of the way this project is presented. I think it comes across as insulting to the intended viewers.

Talk is cheap. If I showed you a battery and told you I was going to build a humanoid robot and give it a positronic brain, similar to Data from Star Trek, with an adamantium skeletal system like Wolverine and lasers that shoot from the eyes would you be impressed?


But if you described in detail how you interfaced an Arduino Atmega to ultrasonic sensors, realized the current limitations and your plans to overcome it, described in detail how you are working on interfacing an Raspberry PI into this system and connecting it via a 2 mile wifi into a separate computer to allow telepresence.  then yes, I would be impressed because you obviously know what you are talking about and are on your way to achieving it.  Personally, I appreciated his description because it gave me the idea of using a Raspberry Pi in my own big bot.

Yes, it would be nice if this page had video of the robot and showed all these parts and his plans instead of describing them in a video that doesn't have much going on.  But nobody is getting paid to put their stuff on this site, and something tells me that the author, like me, is spending more of his time tryign to get the robot to work than documenting it.  

I'm just saying you asked "Where's the Beef?" and then admitted that you didn't listen to the video where he tells you about the beef.  yes, he didn't show it, but not everything needs to be pics and video.  While you say you didn't want to come off as negative, you did.  And the robotics hobby is a time-consuming, extremely difficult, and quite expensive hobby.  I understand your frustration that you want to see more advanced stuff on this site.  But there is a really slim chance you are going to see the type of project that I think you want (an autonomous human-sized robot) on this site because these costs thousands of dollars and thousands of man hours.  This is a hobby site.  At least that's my understanding.

All I can say is lead by example.  You obviously have some cool projects.  Show us how it's done.

The "beef" isn't the idea, it's the tangibles. Forget it, I'm in the minority in the New World where everybody gets a pat on the back. I'm not looking for someone to build Data on this site but getting out of the kiddie pool would be nice. He has big ideas and is trying to generate funding for the project but take what he's shown to The Shark Tank and see if it's sufficient for financial backing.

There's a big difference between talking a project on paper and making it actually work, I'm finding that out right now with my own project. Early 90's I was the in-house computer tech for an Engineering & Consulting firm and was called to the IT Dept. to install a hard drive and when I got there 3 of them, one a PHD couldn't get it right and they can design a CPU or computer (but not actually build one). It's a long standing joke between techs and engineers. Engineers design but the techs make it work.

I'm from a different world where you had to really do something to get recognition. Nowadays everybody wins, there are no losers, your not dis-abled you're differently-abled, I'm not 59 years old I'm 59 years young. Life can't be lived one-sided and sometimes a kick in the butt gets people motivated to succeed

All I can say dude is lead the way.  Show us how it's done.  Make an autonomous big bot that won't accidentally destroy furniture or harm kids/pets that get in the way, and I will gladly reconsider my stance on positive vs negative enforcement.

Great stuff man, keep up the good work.  I actually really liked the 16 minute video, I didn't necessarily watch it as much as listen, but you gave a lot of useful information about what you were doing and how you were doing it.  Very informative, and very much in line with some of the stuff I'm planning to do with my RT robot.  The use of a UPS as a DC->AC method is pretty cool and pretty easy to find for cheap.

Keep it up and keep posting!

Thanks! I appreciate the feedback. 


we recently started a campaign on indiegogo to try and get the ball rolling on making this better pass the word on please!