Let's Make Robots!

So my kid got me into programming...

I am learning Visual Basic.

Funny story, Phoenix somehow found a tutorial on youtube for programing a rock/paper/scissors game in VB. He was pretty excited about it, which is funny, Charlie is sorta the geek around here and the game itself really was not that spectactular. At any rate, we ended up downloading the editor and running the program. Went well, actually. I think he might actually get into this stuff.


Just got my boards back today. I did the seeedstudio 2x2 $20 deal and I guess I can't complain. No better or worse than SparkFun's boards, cheaper yes but almost 5 weeks to get them. At any rate, they are here and populated and work great. One of these guys is becoming a dedicated i2c servo-driver slave and another is going to be the new brain in the VEX transmitter. Super Nifty!

Gotta Start 'Em Young

I was putting together an order of PCB's to be made when my youngest, CharlieMac, became interested in the lay-out software I was using. I have to admit, it does look very cool when making a board --all those traces and pads, color coded... At any rate, I gave him a shot and he quickly (within 20 min) had figured out how the software worked. Being curious, I drew up a schematic on paper and gave it to him. Pretty simple, just a coin-flip circuit on a 08m. Ten minutes later, he had actually drawn it up... well! He got every connection correct.

Glen the Stove Project --Raw Materials

When I have mentioned my Glen the Stove project in the past, no less than 4 people told me that they just didn't believe that A) we actually use coal to heat the house or B) that anyone still used coal as a heat source. People do, and a big truck delivers it. Really, I am posting this video here for no other reason than the lift mechanism on the truck is awesome... It not only tilts like a regular dump truck, but it is part scissor-lift as well. They driver said the bed part of the truck was over 60 years old! Too cool.

LMR Live's Commitment to Quality

Always upgrading to bring you the best quality show you can get anywhere...

Propeller Journey 009

I2c is in the bag. Done.

Propeller Journey 008 maybe?

Encoders and The Man with Two Brains. (It was Dr. Huuhururrr by the way and I swear to God, I didn't have to look up the spelling).

So I am running 2 cogs now. One is running my motor and the PWM signal going to it. The other cog is keeping an eye on the encoder. I think the video is self-explainitory.


Prop Journey 005 SD cards and Serial data

Well, I can now get data from the computer into my propeller and write that data to the SD card. No fuss, no muss it is actually a very good system in terms of how Prop deals with data coming in. As I say in the video, this will be used to store all the pre-recorded "moves" that walter's head will do. I also mention in the video about EEPROMS --right now I can write a single byte to my EEPROMS every 5ms. The speed tests on the SD card put the write speed at 2M in .8 seconds. Think my resolution is going to get better?

CtC First Square Drawn with Little Bot

Yup, my "little bot" is up and running and has drawn his first square.  I am quite happy with the encoders and the absolute centering of the pen. I do think I need to do a bit more balancing of the motors (during the straight runs) and a bit more tidying up in general, but we are on the right track. Next on the list is to get my new lipo's installed (when they get here from China) and a servo to "pen-up" and "pen-down". From there, I would like to write a Processing program to allow me to draw a picture on the screen and send it off to the robot to draw.


CtC's Propeller Journey

Nick at Gadget Gangster was nice enough to get a Propeller chip (on a Gadget Gangster board) into my hands and I have now had a chance to start playing with it. Originally, a "review" of this board was planned and one still is but for now, I am simply documenting my journey into learning this chip and language. The propeller "system" and spin language are completly foregn to me so I am in a unique position of being a total beginner again.