Let's Make Robots!

Universal recharge, navigation and mapping system

WARNING! this blog is just my thoughts on the subject and may be prone to rambling, monologs and contradictions.

I want to develop a universal navigation system for my robots. By universal I mean that the same code should work on almost any robot with only minor modification to allow for I/O pins used and number / type of sensors. This code is being written for the Arduino but I will document the code well enough that it can be easily adapted for other processors.

 

Theory Stage:

Recently DAGU developed some educational cardboard robot kits. To promote these kits we built a child sized version and added some simple IR sensors so that the … Read more
I have seen a number of fantastic Hexapod style robots, most using laser cut parts and very expensive servos. Chopsticks is a robot Spider made from cheap standard … Read more
Sometimes you need to know what position a servo is currently in. Two examples are: 1. The robot has lots of legs and the power has just been turned on. Without … Read more
A quadrature encoder, also known as an incremental rotary encoder measures the speed and direction of a rotating shaft. Quadrature encoders can use different types … Read more

And the winner is?????

Well the deadline is up. Robot Grrl and I have both entered the "Make a robot with personality" contest on Make magazine. I think there is another entry as well but I'm not sure if he's from LMR.

Jax gave it his best but Murphy kicked him in the pants.

The judging is done by the staff of MAKE magazine. Check the robots out and see what you think.

Robot Grrl's RoboBrrd: http://makeprojects.com/Project/RoboBrrd/862/1

Devices not used to their full potential

It seems to me some very cheap devices are not used to their full potential in robotics. Currently I am focused on optical mice. There are tutorials on the web and even an easy to use PS2 library for Arduino but I never see a robot on LMR using them.

I am currently experimenting with a cheap PS2 optical mouse as a high resolution quadrature encoder. With a resolution of 800 DPI, I can get an accuracy of 3600 counts per revolution (1/10th of a degree) by having the sensor mounted near the outer edge of a disc about 40mm in diameter.

Use the reset button on the Arduino as an input button
Using a
Have you ever written a simple Arduino application that just needed a single button? Most Arduino's and their clones have a reset button. Depending on your … Read more