Let's Make Robots!

What type of wire would I need for a 9V battery?

I'm working on my first project for this year's up-coming sciencefair, but I'm TOTALLY lost! I've been using this old college text book I found at my school's library, but it doesn't help much, so I'd really appreciate the help. For my robot(Technesium) I'm planning on using a 9V battery(and if I should use a higher voltage, please tell me!), but I don't know what type of wire I should use. The book I'm reading says to use No. 12 wire, but I'm still not really sure. Also, I have one more question, how do I determine the current a battery has? Thanks for your help, really!

Where to find a *cheap* range finder?

I'm looking for any place that I can find any type of range finder that's under $100 and I know I'm probably sounding cheap right about now. So far the only one's I've found on the internet are about $1000, and let's face it, that's way out of a kid's league, if they even have a league...Well, thanks in advance!!!:)

 also, anyone know where to get what i think they're called "minicontrollers"? Thanks! 

LMR-IIa Updates

Just a quick post to let you all know the few features that have been added with the IIa sub-upgrade.

The feeds listed on RSS feeds now work again

 blip.tv videos should now embed the correct video

 The User Map is now capable of showing only the user specified. In other words, when you click Location: San Bernardino, CA, US in my user page you'll only get me on the map, and it won't take 20 minutes to load!

TLC5940 anyone?

Allthough these chips are actually called LED drivers they are apparently capable of controlling servos...up to 16 of them :) There is even an Arduino library available for doing so. Pretty cool stuff. But I was wondering if anyone has any experiences with this? If yes then I'd like to know more about it. If not well then consider this a tip to keep in mind the next time you run out of servo pins ;)

Encoders for servo mounted wheels

Picture_004.jpg
 
 
I have 2 questions, 
 
- First, when using a C-stamp (programmed using MPlab) is it possible to track the movement of a continus rotating servo so that I dont need to add encoders to know how  much the wheel has turned?  
 
This is an example of coding that makes 2 servos turn(if it helps):
 
void goforth(BYTE lp, BYTE rp, WORD t)
{
  WORD i;

laser pointer and a 38khz sensor

would it be possible to make a laser flicker at 38khz?

I was thinking; if I had a modified laser that gave me a red dot that pulsed at 38Khz. If a robot was made to go towards a 38Khz beacon...

I thought this might function as a intuitive remote control.

The robot is programmed to do whatever, map its surrounding, search for metal or filming the girls gymn locker room. But when the laser is pointed anywhere in its vicinity it'll start following the red dot until the laser is switched of again. then it will continioue its original task.

PWM Question with PICAXE 40x1

The 40x1 has 2 PWM pins. I have the code pwm 1, b2, 1 but I think I need to tell the picaxe that I want to use the pin as PWM since it can also be an output or input pin. Any ideas?

LMR Planned Downtime

LMR will be down Wednesday 11 Nov. 2009 at 9pm PST (Pacific Standard Time, GMT -8) for some updates. Expected downtime is about half an hour.

Yes, this has been changed already ;) Due to the

Mr. Basic Challenge 2 ( autumn 2009)

challenge ending tonight, I don't want to mess up anybody's contest entry.

UPDATE: Done

The "Uncanny Valley" of robotic appearance

I came across this Wikipedia article about how humans can have a negative reaction to robot's appearance as it begins to approach a human realistic level.