Let's Make Robots!

Animaris Ordis Parvus

So here's the whole story (so far).

In Japan people are crazy about Theo Jansen's art. To find out more about Jansen's creation, start here or browse the LMR pages tagged "theo jansen". Several exhibitions of his art have been organized in East Asia before, including Japan. Jansen even holds a special Japanese website or two.

RF link TX/RX 434 MHz = lessons learned and then some

I'm trying to build some sort of RC transmitter using the 434 MHz radio link set. Sometimes called Easy Radio, but not by SparkFun. Edit: because they're not the same thing!

I am setting this up on a breadboard with a Picaxe 08M and two potmeters as inputs. The two ADC bytes are combined into one byte. The one byte gets transmitted.

Gakken interview - for the record

Dear Rik,

Thank you again for cooperating in our magazine.
(And also for introducing about us in your blog too!)

Following is the questionarie that I want you to ask about your Theo Jansen style robot leg.

A watched meter never boils

I would love to be able to have continuous readouts from my electricity meter in my home. Such a tedious job is time consuming and tedious. So I need a robot to do that for me.

Breadboard Jumper Wires Conspiring with Resistance?

Yup, that's:
no black
not so brown
red
orange
yellow
green
blue
violet
grey
white
still no black
brown, finally

Guess what it is...

Feel free to speculate on the project I'm working on. These are zoomed in and cropped photos. What are these components and what were they made from. But most importantly: WHY!??!????

 


 

update nov 1 2010:

What is the purpose of this crappy switch?


Running a MicroController off a SuperCap

Because I keep daydreaming about wiring up my house with dozens of sensors, I was wondering how hard it would be to power a micro controller (say picaxe) off a super capacitor.

A supercap is an electrolytic capacitor with an insanely large capacitance. Mine is half a Farad, 470000 uF. But is rated for only 5.5 V. That's the deal with these caps. Higher capacity at the expense of the maximum voltage they can endure. Or simply at an expense. This one costs about $4 at DigiKey.

Cool resistors

As featured on the liveshow, now in ultra high res. A 3 digit adjustable resistor. 10 kOhm potmeter. It's name and number are easy to find online: Bourns 3683s-1.

Break a leg, Wild Thumper!

I experimented a bit with video. The weather was perfect for it, as reported earlier.

One laptop with webcam streaming live from my balcony to ustream.tv. And my little 10fps camera on board. Then fool around until the batteries run dry.

Afterwards I found a problem in one of thumper's "legs". It limped. Exploratory surgery confirmed the great fear: a gear is missing some teeth. Oh well, we'll always have the photos.

Wood

This past summer (and still) I've been refurbishing the bannister on my house. This is what kept me from building robots.

I would be painting those planks today, but the wheather called for fooling around with my 6WD RC toy. Maybe a 6WD robot some other day.

Yep, that's 20 m plus the stairs.