Let's Make Robots!

PICAXE 28X1 and the PLAY command

I came across an interesting problem tonight and thought I would share it.

I was working on Ajax, (robot #1) and decided to use the PLAY command in PICAXE BASIC to make him "sing".

It looked really easy to use, preloaded tunes, give it the pin for the piezo speaker and the number of the tune and it should work.

And it did kind of work.  I worked on EVERY output pin but the one I had the piezo speaker connected to.

I had the piezo speaker on output pin 3 and got ...nothing....

Adventures In Robots: Robot #2 Bert the Bling Bot

Now that robot #1 is almost complete, (Ajax Harbinger of the Robot Apocalypse, robot entry coming soon), I have begun to plan out robot #2.

Robot #2 will be named "Bert the Bling Bot".  The goal of course is for Bert to be bigger and better than robot #1.  To that end Bert has the following requirements/goals.

Adventures in Robotics, Numbers count

Today I was busy trying to interface an infrared detector to a PICAXE 28X1 on a project board.  My goal is to integrate this into my first robot, Ajax, so he can receive commands from an TV remote control.

The PICAXE documentation shows the 3 pins on the dectector wired to a a couple of resistors and a single capacitor, how hard could it be?

Two hours, later I am getting nothing on input pin0 at all.  Zero, Zilch, Nada.  Nothing.

The irin command never seems to return even though I give it a timeout value and a label to goto on an error.

Wire and Servo Connectors


I am currently am ordering parts for robot #2.  As robot #1 is a nest of wiring, this time I want to use cables that have 2 or 3 conductors and use the connectors normally used on servos.

This has leads to two questions which are:

Is there some reason to choose "twisted" wires (2 or 3 wires wrapped around each other) over flat ribbons (2 or 3 wires side by side)?

PICAXE 28X1, debug command and servo twitch


I came across something interesting, I thought I would mention.  I had my robot plugged into my computer and was working on the IR range sensor.  This meant I was reading the ADC pin and had a DEBUG command in the code to show me the values I was getting back.

While this was going on, one of the robots arm was ...twitching... a bit, like the robot had suddenly developed Parkinson's disease.

While trying to figure out why that was happening I removed the DEBUG command statement and the problem disappeared.

Simulates electronic circuits.
Recently I have been learning electronics and realized that a circuit simulator could be useful.  Of course I wanted one that was easy to use and free.  After … Read more

Robot Musings: Robotic Complexity Rating (RCR)

I have been thinking for a while about how one might rate a robot for its level of complexity or sophistication, perhaps assigning it a number or code that classifies it based on its advancement.  If they can assign colors bands to resistors, there should be some way to rate a robot as well.

Robot Musings: Robot Tricks

Many of the robot references I have read, recommend that you decide what functions your robot will perform as you start the design process.  This makes sense, as the robot's functions will determine what sensors, actuators and other parts, you must build into it, so it can complete its mission.

Many robots fall short of public expectations.  I think this is because many of the desired functions are too complex.  Anything that requires object recognition and manipulation is a very difficult task at this stage of robot evolution.

Robotic Musings


I have had a lot of stray robotic thoughts running through my head lately and I thought I would share some of them, so I created this blog.

Anyone who might be new to LMR should not mistake me for someone who actually knows what they are talking about.  I am new to robotics and am currently working on my first robot project.

Recommendation in Plastics


I am considering using sheet plastic for a robot project and wonder if anyone has any recommendations on their favorite type of plastic?

I have seen comments on both expanded PVC and on HPDE.

Which of these do you consider  the best?

Also in what thicknesses?