Let's Make Robots!

The Pretzel Maker

Last night Grog and myself got to talking, and he said I should make a robot to do my job and allow me to reap the benefits.  While being a great idea, implementation would be troublesome.  I determined that to do every task I have I would need a variety of specialized bots.  Regardless the thought of making a robot that can make a pretzel is quite cool, so I am going to try and design one for me to attempt to make eventually.


So, the steps to making a pretzel that the robot would have to accomplish is -

Holy Servo's Batman!

So I guess today is Day 1 of my impending doom.  I ordered my Diecimila (or however the heck you spell it) along with a solderless breadboard for it.  I also went ahead and bought myself a servo at Hobby Town USA since it is just down the road from my house.  I got the HS-311 Standard Servo.  I have no clue if this is a good, average, or crappy servo.  I figured it would do for learning processes and if it isn't applicible to a bot to start with, who's to say I can't find a use for it eventually.  So basically the point of this post is two-fold.



I was wondering about the pro's and con's of plexiglass and how exactly one would go about cutting it if one did go with it.

Tread Chassis Design Question

Alright, so I am new to robotics as well as this site, but here is a question I feel I have to ask.  I need to ask because it will effect a future project I want to do when I am more experienced in Robotics.


Alright, so the theory behind this question has entirely to do with ground clearance with a treaded chassis.  I notice that every bot with treads has very little ground clearance, and was wondering if there wasn't another way to do the chassis so you could increase the clearance and what kind of effect it would have on terrain options.


Terminology / acronyms / definitions

So reading around the site today, to get inspiration and to set a personal goal that I want to be at, I stumbled into more acronyms than the military throws around in a year.  So if anyone could direct me to a good repository of acronyms, or even a "Get Aquainted With the Terminology" site of some sort so I can understand the details, that would be awesome-o-tastic.

Making a list and checking it twice...

I am ready to place the order(s) for my parts for my first bot, however do to the overall total, which is right around $130 USD I will be doing it in two parts, off of two different paychecks.

 I figured a good way to go would be to get the most expensive order out of the way, which is the one with the PICAXE starter kit, so I could start programming with some LEDs and such and such that I can pick up for cheap at Radio Shack.  However I have a few questions to make sure I have everything right.


So, here's my list that I am getting from Sparkfun

Something to help spread the love

So call me crazy, but even being as new as I am, I wanted to do something to help this place out, and since I can't make a revolutionary world changing bot, or even one at all right now, I did do these.


Now, I am by no means talented with graphics, but I like the simple clean look of these, and I feel that they can be used as banners or signature links in other forums to help promote this awesome place...just a thought.


A random coincidence

So I was updating my profile because I can't build bots yet (no parts currently) and I have only a ton of questions that I will slowly ask over time.  However, I randomly noticed that because I put my full name in, it put my display name of Chainer in the middle of my name with quotes, having it read Bryce "Chainer" Jenkins.  Now that wouldn't be very strange if not for the fact that I have been using the name Chainer for about 7 years now, and most all of my friends know me as Bryce "Chainer" Jenkins, and thats how I introduce myself on my podcast, display my name on

Which to pick?

So I am getting ready to order everything for my first robot of doom (or so I hope it to become), and have run into a small snag.  I was going to go with the general consensus of the Picaxe 28X board to start with, however getting the Programming Editor to run on my Mac's OS X looks like nothing short of painful hours of pain.  I have heard that the Arduino board's Porgramming Editor works on OS X (I am running Leapord) and was wondering if maybe this should be the way to go. 

Comments and thoughts as to how to overcome my dilemma would be awesome.