Let's Make Robots!

Ideas for "portable" or "backpack-ready" robot

I find myself more and more out in the non-robot-speaking world telling people that I "build robots". From there, there is a long pause and then me, stuttering through a terrible explanation of what these "robots" actually are. I have tried words like "electronics hobbyist" and "educational robots" and "classroom settings" --I have even tried "hardware developer specializing in the domestic,hobbyist and educational fields". Its usually a tough crowd though.

How to force a floating pin (tri state?)

I am well on my way to making a fancy logic probe from a LCDuino. Just to fill in, I started with making a probe from a TL082 dual op-amp which works quite well. I assumed that making the same thing out of a microprocessor would be a peice of cake but man, this whole binary/digital thing is sorta getting me. I think I may be trying to make a (what is it?) tri-state thingie...

"Undermount"? Through-PCB? Female Headers (Looking for them)

Hey guys, I am trying to put a bluesmirf bluetooth module under a shield. The obvious answer is to skip the pins and corresponding female header and just use the pins. Of course, this means a hard-solder situation. No pluging and unplugging. No good.

Does anyone know of any kind of through-PCB female headers that work with standard pin headers? I have seen some guys using something similar (Nick uses them on his boards) to hold the crystal and allow it to be changed, but these are for use with the small leads of the crystal. There has got to be something similar for regular pins.

Calling on Folks with Magic (Android) Phones

If you have a mobile phone (that is running Android 2.0 or higher) and a bluetooth-thingy plugged into any kind of microcontroller, please drop me a line.

Chris the Carpenter
rocketbrand@gmail.com  --or-- you can click "contact" on my profile, it will go to the same place.

Help with installing Andriod SDK (Solved)

It pains me to ask for help here, but it has been 2 fairly solid days of installs with no luck.

I got a new fancy phone (HTC Evo) which runs Android 2.2. I of course, want to get this phone talking to various robot brains. I did the usual searches and it seems that no matter what you are doing (android to arduino, android to processing, etc) they all start with installing the SDK. In my case, I plan to use Processing 1.5.1 which is "android ready".

I have downloaded the new version of processing and installed it. --No problem

Getting the internets to talk to my robot.

I swear I did my googling first. The problem actually, is a bit of info overload. Need some simple answers...

I would like to start looking at "connections to the internet", software on the PC and robot-brains. Assuming that the microcontroller part of things would just be a I/O device via say, Bluetooth, I think I am really asking about the connection from "internet" to software on my computer.

Wild Thumper --Voltage drop with no current

So this is a new one... and sorta weird.

I think its called 8-bit parallel transfer? Maybe?

I got a hold of a nifty speech recognition unit after seeing it work here. The kit works quite well and includeds a little display consisting of a couple 7-segment LED's and some drivers. The two drivers are HCF4511BE BCS to seven segment latch/decoder/drivers.

Why are my volt regs so hot?

Simple question:

I am drawing next to nothing from my volt regs and they continue to get hot! I have tried 3 different regulators, a 7805, one with a 3A output and now, one with a 5A output. I have my meter between the battery and the input of the volt reg and I am drawing less than 1/2A ( 440mA to be exact). Even at this level, the heatsink gets too hot to touch.

WiiDar lidar lassiters and laser placement (oh yeah, it works)

This might be directed only to Grog and Gareth, but I am open to any thoughts.