Let's Make Robots!

How to? Glowing IR Ball

I need to make a glowing, IR ball.

So here's the deal, I need to make a ball, somewhere between a baseball and softball, that glows with IR light. It needs to be self-contained and solid IR --no 38khz etc. I think I have seen similar items, one LMR'er gave me a link to a IR ball they use for robot soccer. I like the overall design --the PCB "layers" etc. but it would not work exactly for what I need...

How to cut brass tube II --Making really short spacers

I used this trick for spacers as short as 1/8" and it worked fine. You would think that the brass tube would "drill itself" down, make the hole deeper and thus make longer spacers. In actuality, the blade prevents this from happening. The jig could be improved using real wood instead of MDF --a nice maple or ash would be great, but for now, it seems to work fine. The blade used in the video had already made around 40 cuts to the copper tube. --Pretty dull, actually and it still works fine.



Gilligan's "Delta Head" #fail

It's pretty simple, I have learned 3 things already in building a delta "pick and place" robot arm...

1) There seems to be a lot of math involved in making these guys move properly. I didn't know that going into this project. Hmm..

2) Every joint must deflect quite a bit, both ways, and in BOTH THE X AND Y directions. More than 45 degrees each way seems to be a minimum.

3) What Gareth is to polymorph, I am to brass tubing. Yes, after cutting (24) perfect spacers in a row, I am now the Tubing God. --Modest too!

Walter Jr. / Mini Me / Little Walter / Little Buddy / Gilligan

Yup, Walter needs a little buddy. With a WiiCamera onboard, Walter now has the ability to track and follow IR beacons and thus, could in theory, play follow-the-leader and hide-and-seek. But to play these games, he is going to need someone to play with! I bring you Walter Jr. aka Mini me aka Little Walter aka Little Buddy aka (the most famous "little buddy") Gilligan. The main deal with Gilligan is the fact that he has no budget. None. Nada. No money. He is going to have to be built out of whatever I have on hand.

Wii Camera and Easy PCB Etch How-To

Well, I got sick of having a lappy as a middle-man between my wiimote and my robot (via bluetooth). I decided to remove the camera itself and go with on-board i2c instead of sending BT data back and forth. Now, I have seen a lot of great "adapters" to go from the fine pitch of the wiicamera pins to "standard" pin spacing, but I need not only to adapt the pins, but also a good way to mount the device to the pan and tilt mechanism I have on Walter. I decided to etch a PCB for the task using, I think, the easiest PCB etching process around. Period.

Walter Needs a Mouth

We did this once with walter's old "eyes", now another round of brainstorming with his "mouth".

Walter needs a mouth. In the past I have used the "picaxe sound detector circuit"  modified a bit, going to a few blue LEDs. As a track was played (assume the track is speech) the leds would blink and change intensity according to the audio levels. This was ok, I guess... I think I might want to go to a "led bar-graph chip" with say, 8 to 10 segments. As he speaks, the bars could be lit --from the center -->out and with more bars showing as audio levels increase. I dunno.

Woo Hoo! New Tattoo!

Performance, Feedback, Revision.



Stringifying for Gareth

Here is my MP3 playing routine. It shows an int coming in, gettting converted to a string, and then assembled into a longer string which is then sent to the mp3 unit via serial. The only object you should need to make this work is "Numbers" with is sorta "Parallax standard".



Walter Update 2.11.11 Navigation Done

Woo Hoo! Navigation, headmoves and audio all about 90% there. There is still a lot of adding-to and cleaning up but it is very nice to be back to a solid base in which to work from. Much more personallity needs to be added, i.e. he should have something to say when getting stuck in a corner etc. The wiimote code I have been working on also needs to be added. The wiimote is being used solely for it's IR camera, using it to find an IR beacon. Basically, the beacon consists of 2 IR leds (constantly on) set 4" apart.