Let's Make Robots!

Pololu components integrated

A few weeks ago, Frits posted a blog entry explaining that we were working with Pololu to integrate their product catalog into our Components section. It took longer than expected to wrestle Drupal into submission, but at last the integration is complete, and as you may have noticed on the front page, all of Pololu's 300+ products are now listed as Components. Feel free to browse around -- the cool thing about it is that all of those components remain editable by every LetsMakeRobots user, so you can post comments, tips, opinions, etc about any component you want.

Mechanical spider vehicle

This thing is awesome. It must have taken a hell of a long time to design and build, and then you've got to have a garage to store it in :) But I kind of want to make one anyways.


Getting started with machining

About four years ago I came close to taking a job at Honeybee Robotics, a company that makes robots and parts for things like the Mars rovers. One of their robots, W.I.S.O.R., even had a really cheesy movie made about it. It would have been a pretty cool job, except that what they wanted was someone to machine parts for their robots, and I didn't know a single thing about machining.

Promising things on the horizon for LetsMakeRobots.com

Hey guys. I just wanted to give you an update on the upcoming changes we've got planned for the site. A month or two ago, after being frustrated at how limited our access to LMR's webserver was, I messaged Frits and offered to host the website on my own server. That way we would have the access to develop all the kinds of things we have in mind to continue improving the site and implementing all the great ideas we get.

Scurry around and run into stuff
Using a
I wanted to build something quick and fun with my newfound PIC knowledge. I had been wanting to build my own version of Frits' Little 8 for a while, so I decided … Read more

Thinking of buying a mill

Hey guys. It seems like I keep running into projects where I find myself thinking, "man, a mill would make this step a lot easier" or thinking of a part or bracket that could be useful to be able to make. It seems like a mill is one of the more universally useful tools, so I'm considering investing in one. But I don't know much about them, and I was hoping someone here could provide some input. I remember someone here mentioning they were a machinist.

Help troubleshooting JDM PIC programmer

Well, my PIC 16F690s arrived in the mail, and I soldered up an ICSP-only version of the JDM programmer to program them. Unfortunately, and not at all surprisingly, it doesn't work -- the PIC programming software (picprog, in linux) doesn't see the PIC:

Provides power for breadboarding, testing, etc
I was tired of wasting batteries while testing my robots and other circuits, and having to dig out voltage regulators every time I needed 5v or 12v for a circuit, … Read more

Cheapest way to communicate between microcontroller and computer

I'm working on a non-robotics project, an 'intelligent' mood light. I got a bright 3W RGB LED and soldered up a board so that I can control it from my Arduino (never worked with this much current before -- I got to play with 1W and 2W resistors). I found a nice lamp-type metal-and-glass housing and cut some sheets out of white plastic to sit behind the glass and act as diffusers. So anyway, I've got that all working, and I can cycle smoothly through colors, and it looks really pretty. But now I want it to do something more intelligent.