Let's Make Robots!

Line Follow PCB's

I just got an order of PCB's in and well, I just gotta show them off...

This is a line follow sensor with onboard i/o expander. All 8 sensors can come in (via i2c) in a nice, clean binary byte while still giving you access to each individual sensor if you like. There are 2 mounting positions allowing a forward posistion for curvy line-follow as well as a "closer to the robot" mount for straight-line maze stuff. If nothing else, I am posting to remind folks that boards do not have to be square! Radius your corners, add some details --Don't be afraid of curves, my friends!

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.

Tests the sorta stuff you would test on robots
Inspired by a post by Geir Andersen, I decided to make a little tester box. Nothing too fancy, and (I'm sure) not properly put together, but enough to be able to so … Read more

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...

The robot controller app is out! Woo Hoo! Finally, a Android-based hobbyist robot controller that works with every microprocessor. There is no corresponding … Read more

"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.

How to calculate servo strength && my micro arm

Do what I say, not what I do...

I have told a lot of folks that it is very hard/impossible to build an arm using micro servos. As the arm gets longer and the weight of each servo along the arm is added, the base servos can't keep up. Well, I don't believe myself. Now that I have discovered the wonder of Plastruct, and the lightness thereof, I am going to make a stab at this one.