Let's Make Robots!

12v battery power and mega-servo conversion kits

Hey, I'm thinking of starting a real project this summer and I was looking for a few parts. The most complicated things I think I'll need to consider are the batteries and motors. For starters, I'm looking for a 12v battery that holds plenty of current. Something that could power a few windshield wiper motors for some time. Lithium cadmium looks interesting.. or I actually might end up using power tool batteries (just had the idea!)

Binary Clock Parts

Hey guys, I was thinking of making a binary clock. I don't want this to end up being the typical Dent work- I want this to be good looking and long lasting. It's going to be hung up on one of our walls, so I must be very precise.

Right now, I'm trying to find the right parts. I'll be spending my parent's money after all, so I want this to stay cheap (but still look good!) and I wanna get all the right parts the first time around. 


This doesn't really have anything to do with robots, but can you boot a PC from two RAIDed together 4gb flash drives? I'm thinking of doing some hackintoshing, but I don't have a >8gb USB flash drive. Thanks!

Optointerrupters and Arduino

Ok, I have a pair of optointerrupter modules (just an IR LED and a photodiode paired together basically) and I would like to find out how to use them as distance sensor with an Arduino. Could anyone set me up with some really basic code that I could play around with just to get me on the right track?

The mbed system...

What do you guys make of the mBed system? Its gaining ground rapidly, and it has even entered the meager library of Fritzing parts. Now that's saying something. Anyways, looks like a great system. Breadboardable, ARM based, has an online compiler where you can write code and save it to the cloud (so it's cross platform and you have your data everywhere there's internet). Not an Arduino, but looks good for the aspiring geek looking beyond the Ardy.

So, what do you think of it?

Science project

I've decided to do a light-following solar panel with an Arduino for my science project. However, I'm kinda stuck. I'm confused on how to get the numbers to compare, then tell the servo to go to that position...


Thanks for the help!

Free day...

Hey, so you've all heard of Free day over at SFE right? Doubtless everyone on LMR is participating, but I would just like to point out something. Buy only what you need. Try not to spend all 100 bucks available to you! Save some for others! If we all used 100 bucks, there would only be 1000 slots. If we used less, say 50 bucks, more people could join in! So please, just remember: This is a gift from Sparkfun. Please don't take advantage of it. Thanks!

Question: Arduino vs. Illuminato?

Has anyone had any experience with the Illuminato: Genesis board? I want one, but I need it to be 100% arduino compatible (save for the bling() function). You know, me being new to this stuff and all and the slight chance I may need to copy and paste a little. ;)


Anyways, anyone?

Questions on my new 16x2 Crystalfontz LCD display

This is mostly directed at voodoobot, because he has one of these same LCDs (sorry!) :D

However, most serial 16x2 LCDs are pretty much interchangeable... so anyone can help out here. I'm looking at the PDF datasheet here-


(and while you are at it, check out HSC- http://www.halted.com/   Its a great surplus electronics store in California, so yeah. You can drop by them on Ryder Street in Santa Clara, or in Rohnert Park. There's another in Sunnyvale I think...)