Let's Make Robots!

PB's Blog

4-26-12: As with many of my projects this one got stalled out. Not only was I busy but the bot was being difficult so I put it in solitary. That'll teach it to be so sensitive.

The main problem is that when the solar panel heats up in the sun it eventually stops making enough current. I'm pretty sure if I remove the diodes in the SEs that it will be ok. Problem is the diodes were never meant to be serviced and are thus buried in the freeformed jungle. Some disassembly will have to take place.

Brushbot's Blog


A whole summer came and went with little progress on any of my outdoor solar bots. LMRbot and Hexaspider ate up my time successfully. I blame them :) With another summer approaching I gave my project list a thorough reconsideration.

UV Fluorescence marking - initial concept fail

I've done a bit of initial feasability testing for this project. Last week I used the four 50mcd UV LEDs and two 630nm detection LEDs. The signal generated from the op-amp was around 0.15V. Background noise was measured at about 0.05V. 

I've since received the 2000mcd UV LEDs, and wow, are they bright! They also don't blind the detector LEDs during direct exposure. The less powerful 50mcd LEDs would.

A picture of one of the longer distance test setups:

Babblebot USB board speech demo and update

A listen to some speech coming from my Babblebot USB board talking to a PICAXE 14M2. First it croaks out the allophones in sequential order via its "demo mode." Then I have it repeat a phrase with different register changes.

Babblebot USB board works, sort of

I purchased one of these voice synthesis chips as kind of a knee-jerk reaction to Maxhirez's bot but I didn't know that they were so finicky and questionably documented. It seems the nature of breadboards cause a lot of problems with this chip as well, some of which I am very familiar with. With the challenges presented it seemed best to design my own PCB and have the pro's through Dorkbot fab the board. I would have considered buying the dev board from the Babblebot guys themselves but it only comes in RS232 flavor!

Territory marking through UV fluorescence

For awhile now I've been considering ways to have robots tag an area for other robots to detect in a way that wasn't readily apparent to the human senses. The application would be for my outdoor solar swarm bots. They would use the marker to signal to other robots that "this is a sunny location in the morning." I wanted something passive, no electronics. No dropping off a bunch of miniature IR beacons around my patio or any such thing. Hmm.

Maxbotix "daisy chaining" question via email

I got this email and I thought it wise to post on here for a couple reasons. One, I would like to have other eyes look over my "advice" lol and two maybe it will help someone in a future search. Anyhow...


The HC-SR04 ultrasonic sensor uses sonar to determine distance to an object like bats or dolphins do. It offers excellent range accuracy and stable readings in an … Read more

Inter PICAXE serial communications advice? -SOLVED-

Main code summary: The 28X2 raises a pin high, triggering the interrupt on the 08M2. The 28X2 then sends a number (1 to 5) via serial connection to the waiting 08M2. The 08M2 then I2Cs the correct bits to an I/O expander to turn on an LED pattern:


LMRbot WS2 Edition

UPDATE: Jan. 21, 2012