Let's Make Robots!

Can't enter text in the Body field from my Android phone

Title pretty much says it all. This isn't recent. It's been this way since the last round of upgrades that happened not so long ago. I can't enter text in every other field except the Body one.

Just wanted to tellya!

How to read a datasheet tutorial

I'm realizing and sort of remembering that when you get started in this hobby, datasheets can sometimes be a hurdle to overcome. Information dense, full of expert jargon, and they are all laid out differently. Sort of. There are some general similarities between them all. Understanding this can help break up that sea of gibberish into understandable chunks. I've found that the Sparkfun tutorial has a warm way of explaining how to do this. I strongly suggest it to the newbie.

Mental vomit from an intoxicated robo-teer


My girlfriend successfully took me out and outdrank me tonight. Forget what that says about my manhood, here I am with something to say :hiccup: :)

RP5 280 motors

I'm trying to figure out what kind of motors are used in the RP5 track system. I've tried to cross reference specs available to datasheets online but nothing matches up completely.

(Got the specs from Dagu after all. Posted for your information. -ed)

Object tracking servo jitters... in only one direction?

I've come across a problem during the fine-tuning of my object tracker. When the "neck" servo is steadily decending positions (turning to the left) the movement is smooth, even with decrements > 1. It acts completely different when turning right. There is a distict pause between each SERVOPOS and I noticed it takes longer to process a debug cycle as well. The head shakes, rattles and rolls, the values used to adjust turning speed based on object distance are insufficient, and it just looks terrible.

  First place and congratulations to Kelpy with his  LMR Bot Clone (ish):   Read more

FIRST Robotics Competition '11 Regionals, San Diego, CA - part 5: Finals and Duckie Damsels

My final installment for this series. I didn't stay to the end but I caught a couple of the final matches and got a souvenier for the memories.

Vid 1: The intros to one of the matches. I think they were waiting for the third red member to arrive so I stopped the camera. When the bot arrived, crew dragging it onto the field frantically, the crowd went crazy. It had no claw, no mini-bot, nothing. A pure defense bot. It was the talk of the pits.

FIRST Robotics Competition '11 Regionals, San Diego, CA - part 4: Pits of interest 2

Vid 1: Steve from The Daedelus Project had encountered some problems with their four motors synchronizing correctly. He spent a moment telling me about the problem and quick fix that got them through the competition.

Note - I get sideways with the shot early on but quickly remember I'm shooting video. One time only, I promise. And I had no idea my hand position makes such a dramatic difference on sound quality. Apologies for the ignorance.

Vid 2: The bot from Tecnológico de Monterrey campus León waved me over. Almost literally.

FIRST Robotics Competition '11 Regionals, San Diego, CA - part 1

Even though I had some serious hot glue and coding to be done at my own workshop I checked out the final day for the FIRST competition. I didn't have much expectation for the event. Not to poo-poo the under-21 crowd (otherwise I wouldn't have gone) but I had no idea that robotics had a following I was completely unaware of. My surface skimming of the FIRST's website didn't hint at how big a production it was. I was pleasantly surprised.

FIRST Robotics Competition '11 Regionals, San Diego, CA - part 2: In the pits

After watching some action I decided to take a look at the pits. There seemed to be three (main) things that set the team's robots apart from one another: Its gripper (or lack thereof), its mini-bot (or lack thereof), and if it was autonomous or not. The first 15 seconds are programming only; no human interaction. A chance for bonus points awarded to ingenuity. After that there is a human driver controlling the bot. They also have to deal with the robot's design flaws/design superiority when it came to lining up with a tower to deliver the mini climbing robot.