Let's Make Robots!

Could you use the 256K of memory on the newest Arduino?

Recently the Arduino IDE has jumped from 0018 to 0019 and today I found version 0020 available with support for the ATmega2560!

To me this is great timing as DAGU is developing a new robot controller (Arduino compatible) designed specifically for humanoid and hexapod style robots that require a lot of servos.

The real question is, does anyone think they could use 256K of flash program memory? I thought 128K was heaps with Mr.Tidy's sample code being about 18K at the moment.

Is it worth paying the extra money for an additional 128K you might never use?

Designed as an introduction to robotics. This robot has some autonomous behavior but is also controlled via the supplied universal TV remote making it ideal for … Read more
I have posted some tip/walkthroughs on home made IR sensors for obstacle detection and later for motion tracking. Now DAGU proudly presents the IR compound eye. … Read more

Arduino "Tone" command and the ATmega8 - it just won't work

Recently Frits pointed out that sound was used much with robots on this site. I agree and am trying to add sound to a miniature bi-ped robot I am designing. I am now using an ATmega8A processor set up as an Arduino and recently tried using the tone command with strange results. I only get a few frequencies. The digital oscilloscope shows that I am only getting 5 frequencies  which I guess change when the timers prescaler is changed. These frequencies are:

61Hz, 244Hz, 976Hz, 3.9KHz and 31.2KHz

Robots can have children too!

For some time now projects like RepRap have been aimed at self reproducing robots. Although this was not my original goal I have taken a step towards achieving this.

After a few days of trying to get an Arduino to burn the bootloader onto a blank ATmega chip I have finally had some success. As a result, robots lying about my office waiting for repairs are now capable of burning a bootloader into a blank chip.

Burning the Arduino Bootloader with your Arduino as the ISP programmer

I noticed that the Arduino 0018 software included the option of using an existing Arduino as a programmer for burning the bootloader onto blank ATmega chips.Below is my Arduino Nano configured as per the instructions.

This sounds like a great idea but I am having trouble getting it to work in practise. Usually I get this error:

Allows your robot to see and track nearby objects
The purpose of this cheap, easy to make eye is to allow your robot to track movement of nearby objects (within 200mm). After much experimentation and various … Read more

China 2010

21-5-2010

A few things have happened this last month. I meet Xiao Yue (Little Moon) about a month before I went to Australia. She can't speak much English and my Chinese is still very bad but she seems to like me anyway.

This was taken on her birthday. There was a bit of a food fight with the cake so we ended up with cream on our faces.

Arduino PWM output frequencies and Tone command

I've been playing with a new oscilloscope Dagu bought after the old one died. I decided to check out the Arduino PWM outputs because I'm using an Arduino in my new speed controller and wanted to check if there were any differences as the brake function requires two PWM outputs to be be in sync so that both input are high or low at the same time.

The PWM outputs on pins 5 and 6 share a timer with timing functions such as millis() and delay() run at about 976Hz while PWM outputs on pins 3,9,10 and 11 run at about 488Hz.

The caterpillar robot is available as both an AVR and Picaxe based robot. The picaxe version can be bought from Revolution Education and various picaxe … Read more