Let's Make Robots!

Miniature servo magnetic clutches

Miniature servos are great for robotics, they are small and cheap. Unfortunately they have very small plastic gears that strip easily so they always need replacing....  or do they?  Not any more!!!

Micro Magician robot controller - I can finally tick the project complete box!

I started designing this controller in December 2011. After 4 months and 2 previous revisions it will finally be shipping out April 2012. I think this is DAGU's best Arduino compatible robot controller yet!

Designed for small robots using small batteries, the Micro Magician is a 3.3V controller running at 8MHz.
Working from 4.5V to 9V means this constroller can run from a single LiPo cell or 3x NiMh batteries.
Reverse polarity protection means no blue smoke if you get your power wires crossed (reverse polarity diode rated at 3A).

Mini Makers Faire - ShenZhen, China - LMR will be there!!!

Much to my surprise and delight, DAGU will be attending the Mini Makers Faire in ShenZhen. We will also try and setup an LMR stand. I know this is short notice as the Faire is only 1 month away but I would like to invite LMR members to attend or at least send in one of their robots.

Links to photos and videos will also be welcome. I will get the photos printed and use them as a backdrop. I will have at least one large computer monitor playing LMR videos.

Learning to use "make" files to compile a new Arduino bootloader

G'day everyone. I am not a professional programmer, I have not had any training in C language. Previously I had a lot of support from LMR and learned to write an Arduino Library. Now I am trying to compile a bootloader and need help again. I've installed WinAVR and AVR studio and have been trying to find out how to use them. It seems I need to learn to use a "make" file but I cannot find any good information on how to do this. Most information on the net assumes I am a programmer.

Creating a new Arduino PCB in the Arduino IDE - Trials and Tribble-ations

If someone can help me out then I will write a tip/walkthough on this subject.

Quite often DAGU products use the ATmega168 MCU rather than the ATmega328 because they are a bit cheaper and 16K of program memory is often enough.

The problem is that ATmel no longer produce the ATmega168 20-AU which we had been using. They now produce the ATmega168PA which is almost identical but has a different device signature ID.

Gears and gearboxes. What do you want for your robot?

Sometimes when your building a robot you will need gears. Although there are plenty of ready made gearboxes on the market they will not always fit your needs. I have been looking at puting together a collection of gears, shafts and even small bearings so that you can build you own gearboxs.

I started off with the green bevel gears shown below, they have big, strong, chunky teeth that are hard to break. These allow you to have a 90° output.

Wild Thumper goes Wild hunting Lions in Africa!

I heard through the grapevine (amando96, Gareth) that a Wild Thumper Chassis was being used to photograph wild animals!

UGV trainer kit - Unmanned Ground Vehicle

Typically when I hear the words "Unmanned Ground Vehicle", I tend to think of military and off-road vehicles but these days big companies are investing millions of dollars on cars that can drive themselves.

This kit is an affordable beginners kit to help students and hobbyist learn the basics. Using the Arduino compatible Micro Magician robot controller with it's library of basic control functions ensures an easy and fun learning curve.

Little Black Duck - 12g, 2Kg/cm miniature servos from DAGU

Have you ever built a robot and then found your miniature servos were not quite strong enough?
Get yourself a flock of ducks! DAGU's little black ducks!

DAGU are now selling a 2Kg/cm servo that is only slightly taller than a standard miniature servo. The height difference allows for thicker, stronger gears and a bearing to support the load.

Polycarbonate 90° bevel gears with aluminium mounting brackets

When you build robots, sooner or later you will need a 90° bend in a drive shaft. Crown gears are fairly common but the teeth are relatively small and strip easily.

DAGU have now produced some relatively small, polycarbonate bevel gears to help solve your gear train problems. Unlike crown gears, bevel gears have a longer, tapered tooth that is much stronger and harder to strip.