Let's Make Robots!

Here comes science (kids)

A lot of you already know this but I thought I should give those of you who grew up in the 80's or have kids. They Might Be Giants is doing kid's albums about science now and the music kicks the most ass. The album is called "here comes science" and is awsome all the way through. My kids are now officially addicted to the elements song. Here it is:


tracked robot - assembly

after being seriously sidetraked by all these cnc projects on LMR, i finally managed to assemble my robot.

everything went together smoothly.

i just underestimated the amount of space inside the bot, it is pretty cramped in there with the electronics, battery, servo and wires.

a small on/off button was glued to the back with a drop of epoxy.

technically speaking this is still no robot since it is lifeless.

so now comes the fun part, giving the robot a soul, writing the code... 

RepRap Stepper Driver v1.2 and Next Gen CNC

In the picture from top-left, clockwise to bottom-left: the terminal block (24V power up to 13A), the 2 X-axis drivers, the Y-axis driver (blue heat sink), and the Z-axis driver (blue heat sink), the Arduino controller (direction x3/enable x3/step x3), and just below the terminal block there is a small 9V regulator board to shift 24V down to 9V for the Arduino.  Everything is mounted on an MDF board, and the board is mounted with baling wire.


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 :) 

Back in business

It's been quite a while since I've been active on LMR. I have been working a lot on Java programming instead of my robots, but now I'm back with new ideas for my "Robot Hansen" robot who will get a serious upgrade from his current picaxe 40x1 chip: He will have a LEGO NXT controller as main brain, a cmucam3 for vision, several ATtiny26 based sensors and actuators. All this because he will probably be going to DTU Robocup 2010.

China 2010


A few things have happened this last month. I meet Xiao Yue (Little Moon) about a month before I went to Australia. She can't speak much English and my Chinese is still very bad but she seems to like me anyway.

This was taken on her birthday. There was a bit of a food fight with the cake so we ended up with cream on our faces.

Mystery Object :- what is this mysterious thing i found lurking in my office corner

Here is a strange mystery Object i luckily caught on Video earlier this evening roaming around my office........

 Is it a UFO ........?

What high tech spacey material did i make it from ........?

What is its sole purpose in life ...... ?

All Crazy......sane ..... or insane guesses Welcome.......Gareth

For you None Streamers out there press (here)

Birthday Tattoo!!

Well folks,

I just had the 33rd aniversary of my birth and as a gift, my wife gave me 3 more seasons of MacGyver for the DVD collection but more importantly, TATTOOS!!! Yup, a big phat gift cert.!!!! Now, why would I post this news on a geek website like this one? Well, I am going to finally get my wings. Wings of wax on my upper back to remind me of the past times I flew too close to the sun and not to again. Now I needed a roundish symbol to go in the middle and pondered what to do for a while now... I have decided (here comes the geek part)...


tracked robot - the electronics

today i inhaled a good dose of solder fumes and got the board finnished. 

i used a 0.5mm copper or brass rod to make the powerlines, the rest of the connection were made with wirewrap cable(30AWG).

the perfboard has square pads which i prefer over round pads because it is easier to connect 2 adjacent square pads.

the L293D 1,2EN & 3,4EN pins are pwm driven and the inputs 1A 2A 3A 4A determine the direction so 6 pins of the ATMEGA168 are used to drive the 2 motors.

RepRap Conversion for a set of Probotix SideStep Stepper Motor Drivers


An Arduino or similar microcontroller shall be used to create a RepRap-style front-end for the HobbyCNC EZ Driver board or similar DB-25 controlled stepper driver.  This front-end microcontroller application would allow RepRap applications to control a number of powerful CNC machines.


Maze Solving Robot Progress


Progress on my Maze Solver:
Mainboard: Schematic Done, Board Layout Done
Sensor Board: Schematic Done, Board Layout Done
Programming: Haven't started
CAD: Done!

Finished the sensor board, took some screenshots of it in cad, added to attachments.

I will package all necessary files in a zip so anybody can build this robot. I just recieved the PCB materials today, so hopefully tomorrow (Jan 19) I can etch the boards and start assembling the robot.

tracked robot - the frame

after cutting the pieces i sanded the edges and glued everything together.

the front curved part is a lamination of 19 identical pieces.

i inserted machine screw insulators in the holes that will accept the shafts, these are in nylon and will act as bearings.

the slots in the back of the frame are for the adjustment of the track tension and are long enough so i can choose between A and C gearing.

the triangular part is a small turret to mount the GP2D12 on the servo.


Slightly more advanced LDR eye

Read this history first, if you have an hour to kill.

The challenge: make your bot rove around your house. Use no active beacons. Use observations by your bot only. Now, does your bot know where it is?

One possible answer: an eye and a brain.

Room Recognition

Each room in the house has a unique lighting situation. A simple eye that looks around in eight directions would "see" a pattern of light and dark segments. Each cell is connected to one ADC on your uC.

tracked robot - concept

first of all i would like to say hello to the LMR crowd and thank fritsl for creating this nice place where we can all share our robot experiences and have fun.

that being said let's talk about robots.



i used rhino3d to design the frame which is based on the tamiya twin-motor gearbox(#70097) and the track&wheel set(#70100).

The most useless machine ever

This is a "most useless machine" i made. I used a instructable but it was a comment by "compukidmike" that was the schematic i used. 

here is compukidmike's schematic picture thing  http://www.instructables.com/files/deriv/FCQ/XPAC/G43EFYKB/FCQXPACG43EFYKB.SMALL.jpg 

Walter Update

Walter has been stripped down to a bare chassis...

Walter is being painted.

Damn, I'm getting close.

What I want...

I've been thinking, while troubleshooting, a lot about what I would like in a bot. At first I'd  thought about a bipedal bot, but tracks are more stable, easier to work with, require less programming and unless you are using a large base for a bot it won't do stairs.  To be autonomous, to be able to do tasks without human control, such as recharging itself and performing basic tasks.

Propeller Platform Video Howto

I got a new camera for Christmas (Happy New Year!), and I decided to make a 'how to put together a Propeller Platform' video.  Are these types of videos useful?

I don't think a video alone is enough for a howto (the Prop Platform has a written guide, too), but I was thinking there are a few 'advanced' techniques that beginners might benefit from seeing on video.  What do you think?