Let's Make Robots!

Hello! I was wondering if anybody could help me determine compatibility issues :(

Dear Robot enthusiasts,

Hello all!  This is my first question on here so please feel free to critique my writing style.  

For Christmas, my dear parents bought me the only thing that I ever really wanted.  Build Your Own Humanoid Robots by Karl Williams.  I was so exuberant!  I would finally imbibe from the well of knowledge that assembled ASIMO, created kismet, revived ROB and... Well you get the point.  I was excited, for I had the monetary power to build these mechanical maids! I procured some money from the bank and headed to the nearest hardware store...  To give you an idea of the setting, the most technologically advanced object in the store for sale was a green SNAPPER lawnmower.  I returned with some of the nuts, washers and miscellaneous things that I needed but nothing like the servos and micro controllers. However, I did manage to obtain a metal vice. In the ensuing months, I bought some of the servos off the net, one of which was outdated and had to be substituted by a newer version.  The micro controller needed for this project is a measly Pic 16F84A with 4 Megahertz of clock rate.  I noticed that this book had been outdated by several years compared to the newer technology! The PicBasic Pro compiler was to be loaded via floppy disk!  My head started to throb with trillions of compatibility issues!  Will the newer pro compiler work with the pic 16f84A?  Why do I need to build a PCB for a chip that is already supposed to control servos?  Why do I need the EPIC problem when I have no clue what the hex fill listings are? Where in Gods' name can I find a reasonably priced pice of 1/16 inch thick flat aluminum stock that measures 6 foot by 7?   Is there justice in this horrible world? 

Your fellow Robot enthusist,





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I think you should just forget the pic. Instead, use a PICAXE. They are cheap and very easy to program (they use a language called BASIC which is great for beginners) and have are very widely supported. If you decide to use PICAXEs, I would start with the 40X2. It has over 30 user accessible pins, which you probably will need for all those servos. They have built in servo commands (eg. SERVO 0, 150) and in general are a great place to start.

 As for servos, well, I don't really know. To start with, I would use the standard servo from Solarbotics (S03N) to keep the cost down. Eventually, if you become a master, you can move on to bigger and better. 

It's sounds to me that you are suffering for out dated material! (Where's Capitan Obvious?) Old stuff, like in that book, is hard. To be frank, technology has made building robots a hell of a lot easier compared to when that book was made. So, just like nobody uses floppy discs anymore, nobody reads books anymore! Everything you need is online, and if you want to build your first robot, start here: http://letsmakerobots.com/start
I read books. They aren't dead yet ;) There are a lot of books out there that are still good for robotics and electronics. You just need to make sure the robotics books are current as of the last 3-5 years and that the electronics books are current as of around 10 years.

Hey, I read books too! Although to be precise I download books then read them from my phone.. principle is the same though :)

Regarding the book, yes it seems to be outdated. Research around the net and look at what other people have made. Keep in mind if this is your first robot you will want to try some baby steps first like flashing LEDs and work up through little roaming robots before you go buying enough aluminium sheet to wrap yourself up with. If you jump straight in you will only frustrate yourself and end up chucking the whole thing in the bin.

Alright, I'll admit, I read books too, even old ones. =D 


First of all, i would like to thank all of you for your comments.  Second, Thomas Countz, I appreciate you giving me the http://letsmakerobots.com/start link, but can i make this robot voice controlled?  Will i be able to build a 6 DOF arm with the aforementioned 40X2 PICAXE?  Can I control any electronic device via the 40X2 PICAXE? 

How can I make a exoskeleton suit?  Where can i get the sensors that pick up on electrical nerve endings? What are some good practice projects?  Where can i get free transistors, resisters, capacitors, etc ?  Where can I buy a good spectrometer?    

An exoskeleton suit like this?


The instructions can be found here :)

LOL. Ezekiel, thou art funny and subtle.

I think you're getting ahead of yourself here. An exoskeleton suit that picks up readings from nerve endings? I think being ambitious is a great way to come up with ideas and creative designs, but everyone needs to start somewhere. I'm not trying to suppress your ideas, but I think you should learn how to blink an LED first. It sounds stupid, but once you do that, you'll see that it's not as easy as you may believe. If you're still determined to build an exoskeleton suit, I say go to a engineering college and ask for help, because giving a walk through on how to build one seems a bit beyond our capabilities here. 

but if i were you, i'd just buy the LUKE ARM

someone did it already.

if you wanna be ironman, get in line dude