Let's Make Robots!
Provides encoder measurements to a geared motor
Recently I hacked some servos for fun. While I had the servos open and had removed all the electronics, it occurred to me that there was a lot of space in there … Read more



This is my blog on the TI LaunchPad. A new platform for me to experiment with.

Note: The structure of this blog itself is a bit of an experiment. I will make posts to the forums with 'MyLaunchPad' in the tags, and include links to my posts in this blog. So the blog will be a collection of links to forum posts.

How not to steer


I recently hacked some servos for fun, and wound up with a servo that could only turn 90 degrees. This seemed like a good candidate to use as a steering servo. I had never tried steering with a servo, but I'd seen it done. How hard could it be?

I started with my two servo-hacked, brainless gear motors with attached wheels, which I had hot glued together with a battery pack for testing.

Hacked some servos for fun


I had a GWS S03TXF 2BB servo that I had previously released the magic smoke from. It's been sitting on my desk, labeled "bad" for some time. I took it apart and could see that the board shows visible signs of frying.

I also had a GWS S03N STD servo that I had butched for the brains, in order to try to create a mongo-sized servo for steering YardGnome (a work in progress).

Can't figure out how this 4 digit display works


Sorry this isn't really a robot related question, just an electronics one.

I was cruising through a local electronics shop. They have lots of salvaged parts. They had a whole box of old 4 digit LED clock displays. Since they were only about $3, I picked one up. My son wanted to build a clock.

After working through all the connections, here's the schematic.

Uses an analog input pin to capture a digital signal from a 3V sensor for use with a 5V microprocessor
I recently purchased a Parallax PIR Motion Detector from Radio Shack. These devices are only about $10 US, and do a nice job of general motion detection when your … Read more

Picaxe resetting or stuck in fatal loop


I'm reprogramming Robot Leader, and I'd like to be able to use PWM to pulse his LED eyes. The only problem is, I also have to command a servo to turn his head, and the Picaxe28x1 does not allow you to use PWM while you are using the servo command. They both rely on the same timer.

Introducing Penny. She's beginning her existence as a Start Here style robot. However, she's based on an Arduino Mega. Video 1: Early testing of the servo and Sharp … Read more

(Solved!) Low current from Arduino Output (Arduino Start Here robot)


EDIT: LED problem solved thanks to RobotFreak. I forgot to set the pins to output mode using the pinMode command. As RobotFreak points out, the Arduino sets all pins as inputs by default. I added a For loop to set all the pins to outputs, and everything worked great.

void setup() {
  pinMode(13, OUTPUT);  
  for (int pinindex = 0; pinindex < 14; pinindex++) {
     pinMode(pinindex, OUTPUT);  // set pins 0 to 13 as outputs