Let's Make Robots!

Turtle-bot

Turtle controlled via USB by a host computer.

This robot has no "brain" even though it has a Arduino processor.

The brain for the bot is located in the PC and the program is S4A (Scratch for Arduino, version 1.5) based on Scratch, a MIT developed block programming language easy for early programmers (and even children) to learn.

The "tail" of the bot is a permanent USB umbilical providing commands to the Arduino on the bot and all power to the bot, including all motor power. With a "light weight" USB cable it works out fairly well.

Right now, motor control is speed and direction only provided by dual 2N2222 transistors for each motor. (Reverse could be added using any common H-Bridge chip, but a low voltage, low current consumption chip would work out best.)

This was a fun robot to build and would (combined with the S4A software) make a great learning environment for both robotics and programming.

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The big problem a bot like this has is 5V through transistors is just not enough to drive the motors with any torque. If the USB cable is heavy at all the bot has real trouble manuvering, And don't even think of trying to make a geometric figure!

A wireless module (it would need to work "transparantly") would still let the bot remain "connected" to the PC's S4A command program and the batteries (add a H-Bridge chip too!) will let it become a much more mobile "turtle". I will also look into adding a retractable "pen" or marker to let the bot do real "turtle graphics" controlled by the S4A program.

Wow! What a "turtle" it could really be! I am all excited about this :-)

Idea: The Dagu "Doodle Bot Drawing Robot" probably could handle the S4A client software, but the connections are not set up to match the pin setup of the S4A host program. A "modifed" Dagu robot COULD be re-designed to accomplish that purpose, hmmm. I think it would be a HIGHLY worthwhile mod as schools (and kids) would love it!

But it has a slave/drone brain ;) 

It's a nice concept to play with that affords you a lot of flexablity.  

 

Now you need to add a cheap wireless modual to pins 1 and 2 and batteries.