Let's Make Robots!

Arduino updates - I hate the new Arduino

When I started using Arduino, V0018 was the latest and greatest. Since then there have been about 7 updates and every time they update, more and more of my code fails to compile.

Since V1.0 and now V1.01 it seems the capital letter "F" cannot be used for a function name. This caused the error:
error: expected unqualified-id before 'reinterpret_cast'

Sleeker and with twice the firepower, SplatBot Mk II has some obvious improvements over the original. Noticably the water bottles and pumps are on the chassis … Read more

Perfectly chilled beer!

Ok, I know this has nothing to do with robots but I thought the science behind it might make for an interesting discussion.

I have found that if I freeze my beer to the correct temperature (pressumably a few degrees below freezing) then while it will be perfectly liquid while the lid is on, the moment I open the bottle, beautiful, feather like, ice crystals will grow in the beer.

After the MkI chassis bellied out on the stairs I rebuilt the chassis to give an extra 55mm (about 2inches) clearance in the center. The new chassis is also 50mm … Read more

New MkII robot gripper from DAGU

Dagu has had an aluminium gripper available for some time now so we decided it was time for a re-design. The new MkII gripper has some significant improvements on the original.

  • Brass sleeves in the joints improve rigidity and eliminate the need for adjustment.
  • A 2:1 gear ratio increases gripping torque while utilizing the full 180° travel of the servo.
  • A spring loaded clutch protects the servo gear train while providing spring tension for gripping objects.

It seems to me that for a robot to be really useful in the home or workplace then it must be able to handle stairs. With this in mind I want to design a stair … Read more

S.A.M. as an Arduino Library - Software to make our robots talk

Back in the good old days of Atari's and Commodore64's there was a program called S.A.M. the software automated mouth. Considering this was available about 30 years ago I have always been dissapointed at the lack of progress in robotic speach since then.

I know there is some much better speech programs available now but how often have you had a computer talk to you?
S.A.M. is actually built into Adobe Reader. Just open a PDF file, go to the "View" menu and at the bottom you will find "Read Aloud".

Jameco now sell the Micro Magician robot controller

Good news everyone, the Micro Magician is now being stocked by Jameco as well as Rocket Brand Studios.

New LBD geared motor for small robots

DAGU have now released a modified version of our Little Black Duck analog servo.

This is the Little Black Duck servo, modified for continuous rotation with the control circuit removed making it into a simple geared motor with a ball raced output shaft. This motor is perfect for small robots and can be easily driven by an L293D or a controller with a built in "H" bridge such as our Micro Magician.