Let's Make Robots!

Desk Robot; An attempt at planning.

 Yet to be named desk robot                                                                                                                                             I often get stuck into projects at home, not often robot related, but the problem usually is that i just head straight in without thiking and i run into problem after problem that could have been easily avoided if i just thought for one moment beforehand. so this is a project where i intend to learn how to plan, restrain from the urge to get things done as quickly as possible, stop twisting wires together or balancing components to get a good connection.

so the basic plan for the project is a desk robot with a 2dof head with basic motion tracking.

i am going to outline the main features/functions i intend to give this robot so i know what i am aiming for in small steps and i can go through and sort it out bit by bit. I can also use these sections to keep track of progress

Casing and physical structure status:waiting progress:none

As this project was largely inspired by Chris the carpenter's desk bot thing, I plan on having a similar structure: a box-like base to hold the lcd and perhaps a few buttons and a similar way of setting up the head. I dont have access to any way of cutting wood or plastic so make this so i will probably have to resort to using scrap materials (either cardboard or glueing small flat pieces of wood together which i can cut with a saw)

LCD display status:researching progress:none

I am going tp buy a multipin lcd and a rev-ed axe033 replacement firmware ic to allow serial comunication with the picaxe.

Somethig i want to implement is the ability to advise me on Yes/No situations- like those toys you get wich say "of couse" or "maybe" when shaken (if you cant think of what im talking about, they have one in toy story, a black snooker ball which has a liitle screen.).

Motion tracking status:waiting progress:none

At the moment i plan on building something based on oddbot's compound eye and fitting that on the end of the "neck" as the "head" instead of any kind of range finder. it is simple entertainment but i'm sure i will not get bored of moving hand around and having it follow.

Motion sensing status:waiting progress:none

Separate to the motion tracking capability i plan to make some kind of IR system to sense any motion/large change in IR levels from a stationary point. If possible, i will build a self contained system that outputs a signal to the μcontroller when there is no motion for a long time then there is motion. The lcd screen can then say something like "salutations" or "greetings" as most likely someone has entered the room after a period of no one being there.

Sound output status:thoguht progress:none

Just a thought at the moment but maybe some kind of beeping using variation in pitch to convey fake emotion.

Current shopping/obataining list

i know you probaly dont want to hear this but since i am using this page to keep trak of targets, progress and plans i thought i might put it here any way. i want to get everything in one order from the same place so untill it is planned i won't know what i am buying.

  • IR LEDs for compound eye and motion tracking system
  • IR Phototransistors for compound eye and motion tracking system
  • LCD display - specifics yet to be decided
  • some kind of perfboard for compound eye and overall curcuit.
  • Basic components (specific resistors and capacitors etc.) i can take from my school.

if you have anything to say which you think might be interesting or helpful please do. for me this project is all about learning


update 15/12/13 (I'm british)

I have decided on the lcd. i will buy this multipin lcd screen and this picaxe Ic to alllow serial comunication with the lcd and only use 1 pin.

this is basicly what it does: