Let's Make Robots!

How to use solar panel?

I bought this the other day -  http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062564 to use for a beam bot. Problem is, it was very cryptic with the intructions, so I'm not sure where to solder to for + or -.

If anybody has any experience with this, I'd love to hear your thoughts.


Just bought a dual PC board... I feel dumb.

Hey guys.

I just got home from the rat shack with a few of these babies.


Nobody in my town has breadboards, so these have to do until I get one from the net. Anyway, I'm pretty sure I get the idea of how to use one, but I'm hoping to find a short tutorial on the basics of using it. I know they're cheap, so I can screw one up and it's a non-issue, but I'd like to avoid that if possible :)

Finally ordered parts...

Well, I finally ordered some parts again. This time from Solarbotics because of their support guarantee. Plus they've been really cool with emailing back and forth with me as of late.

Good parts!

I went to the pawn shop today and picked up an old RC car and a robot vacuum for $10 - total. Not a bad deal. I also go an old mouse and a book in that price.

The vacuum uses a bump sensor of some sort, I'm gonna take it apart and figure it all out. The RC car will probably have a brain installed one day. I just need to learn how to do all that first :) 

Which microcontroller?

Let me start out with saying that I bought a Picaxe about a year back and had absolute horror getting it to work with my PC. Nothing I did would work. I've been traveling for a long while now and am finally settling back down a bit, so I'm wanting to get started back in robotics.

I haven't built my first bot yet, but will be buying supplies soon. Can anyone recommend another MC instead of the Picaxe? Maybe the Arduino? Preferably something that has a good support group I can go to if I get stuck... which is more than likely.


Is this the same motor driver?

I'm looking to buy this motor driver:

However, I don't know if it's the same one as this: 

They have the same number of pins, and look similar, so I think they might be... but who knows what's on the inside of the box!

So, are these basically the same item? 

Trouble using my Picaxe 28X

I posted this on the Picaxe forums, but they haven't been able to diagnose my issue yet, so I'll come to you now.

I'm using the Picaxe 28x starter pack with a USB cord. 

I have both of the drivers installed, and both the software and my PC are set for COM5, which (I think) should make the two talk to each other... it's not working though.

Perhaps this short clip may help you out a little.

You may not be able to read the text, so here is the error that pops up.

Object Avoidance & Scheda worship
Using a
Well, here's to starting my first robot! This bot is going to be the standard first robot that's shown here. It will have the standard two wheels, but I will be … Read more

Where do I hook the speaker up?

So I ordered a original Gameboy off ebay a few days back, but after I ordered it I realised that half the screen didn't work. Pooey. Anyway, so since it was just a couple bucks, I figured I'd use it for parts.

I just de'soddered' a bunch of components, yay, one of which being the speaker. So I hooked it up to a battery to see what would happen, and I got a couple little scratches, which means it works.

Anyway, so I want to hook it up to my picaxe so I can play with it, which I have yet to do since I don't have all my pieces yet...

WowWee Robotics

You know, I really like their line of little bots. I was at Walgreens and they had the Mini Robosapien for $10, so I grabbed him up and he's now hanging out on my desk.

I like their model of using pretty standard sensors and things in fun and interesting ways. They've got some pretty innovative ideas going on.