Let's Make Robots!

Yeah! SHR building day

 
accepts programming. wheels and servo are controllable.

Yeah! We're very excited to be building our first "real" robot. Got the kit as a b-day present. Spent the afternoon yesterday putting it together, and getting the Mac to speak to the bot. Must say the documentation is a bit lacking. I plan to lay out the steps the the poor folks using Macs. I understand we the small majority in this realm.

Spent today looking for the damn missing connector cable fort the rangefinder to the board. You know it's this one - GP2D12 - that very inconveniently is not included with the rangefinder from Solarbotics. Why the hell not, I don't understand. Very disappointing. A let down to be stuck with a blind bot.

We went to Radio Shack not expecting much. Tried a lamp shop and was referred to Sunny a kitchen appliances guy in San Francisco. No luck. (Actually going to take our old coffee maker apart.) Even went to Fry's in the heart of Silicon Valley. Let down. 

So excited to get it going. Looking for the part online. Surprised S-botics does not have it.

 

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All,

Have to say this experience with the Start Here Robot has been great. We've put it together, pulled it apart and put it together many a time. We stick its peices onto old toys, kitchen appliances, etc, imagining how it could come to life as a bot.

As I noted in another blog, this process got us over a very large threshold. I think the community helped a great deal. Thanks for getting us going.

Moe and Son

Figured it out. Well, I mean I copied the program anew. It's working. Having fun adjusting the parameters.

 

Hello All,

Thanks for the words and the welcome! And the tips on where to find it. I figured out a work around

I'm pretty new at soldering, and the connector is in a tight space. I thought to use a female to female jump cable, remove the plastic housing from three ends. I wrapped two with electrical tape - to insulate, and to make them fit more snugly in the space. Foam tape holds them in and apart

Now my old rechargeables went dead.

But I feel proud to have fixed it. On to programming more. Tomorrow. Night. As I just got selected for jury service.

Cheers!

Nice! Thats a similar mod to what I've done with my rangefinders. I like the foam to keep the wires spread apart. I think I'll try that with mine because I've already had to re-solder them once when the wire broke.

I have those same rangefinders in my sumo robot. I just chopped the front part off of the connector (on the sensor) and carefully soldered three wires to the pins. You could also solder to the places on the back printed circuit board where the connector pins are soldered to the board - just be very careful that you only get solder on the original pin pad. 

I wouldn't do this if you know you are going to buy the connector at some point, but I knew I just wanted a robot up and running. The connector would probably still fit with a bit of glue even after the modification though :)

 

 I too was disappointed when I received my first robot kit from Solarbotics (Start Here Robot) and noticed the Sharp cable was missing.  I contacted Solarbotics and they said the manufacturer was not including the cable with the product anymore (duh!)...but I could purchase the cable at Pololu... which I did. Not expensive.....see below.  I put my first robot together which was fun and not difficult at all.... the hard part is the programming, which I have no experience with.... got the sharp to move about and the wheels to rotate, forward and back.... just having issues with putting the code together so the syntax is correct to get the robot to do its thing.  May need to post a question or two.

Electronics » Cables and Wire »

3-Pin Female JST PH-Style Cable for Sharp Distance Sensors (30cm)

Pololu item #: 1172213 in stock

Price breakUnit price (US$)
10.99
100.89
1000.79

 

I have conbtacted Solarbotics about this, I will let you know what they say.

Sorry for the kit not being complete as it should have been.

Hey Fritsl,

Solarbotics responded quickly to my note about the missing cable and my disappointment. Their response was rather straightforward - the vendor no longer includes the cable. Had to probe to get some suggestions. They sent me to a few vendors.

I just feel for the poor saps like myself, and my son, whose hopes are dashed when they need to really struggle to get it up and running. And I think Solarbotics is responsible to provide a complete the kit. Or at least warn us.

The deal with Solarbotics IS that they should provide a complete kit. And I have written them, but not got any answer yet, which is strange.

I will announce when I get news for sure!