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Vader Vibes

Starting this blog as a place for me to throw down my thoughts about options for my Service Droid, VADER:


At times where I'm anxious to work on Vader but can't, atleast I can blog about it!  Right now is a good example: my 2 month old daughter is asleep in my arms. I may be having to type with one hand but the progress feels good!

First off, I'm considering a tweak to the acronym."Very Advanced" is a little over the top. Maybe "Virtually Advanced" or "Very Amateur".

Phase 3 Part 1 - IR Receiver/Remote Sketch

In-Depth photos and videos of this project are available on my photobucket library.

You can download the IRremote library by clicking here and following the instructions. 

Actobotics NOMAD 4WD Off-Road Chassis

Actobotics Logo - pageNomad Logo (70px tall)
This is the Nomad 4WD Off-Road Chassis kit! 

ESP8266 wifi module issues I have had

The ESP8266 is very powerful little module, but a very picky one as well. In working with original ESP-01 I had very limited success with it and it just acted "flakey". I do understand now what most of the issues were with this module. 

Yellow Drum Machine SING-ALONG-VERSION

Amazed over the popularity the Yellow Drum Machine has recieved, but with my mother-in-law on visit, and a baby on my other arm, it is hard to do a follow up quickly :)

So this is a first-and only shoot, showing the sing-along-possibilities of YDM. I *could* have sung something more inspiring, and I could have taken another shot, to wait for a more inspiring rythm etc - but this is what I can manage right now (my baby girl is sleeping on my shoulder, even writing this is hard :)

Here are some more pictures

Motor and driver board




One of the motors along with the driver board.  Each LMD18200 gets a PWM, Direction, and brake signal from the controller.  The encoders also plug in here and receive power from a 7805(not added yet in the picture)
















Tiny adventures in motor control

Since my last blog entry about using timers and interrupts on the Atmel Tiny 26P, I have put together a driving lego monster with homemade dual h-brigdes that in principle should be able to eat something like 25A or so - of course the wires used are not able to carry that much current but hey I only had those IRF540 and IRF9540 hexfets lying around :-).The controller is still the Tiny26P and my goal is to make this my I2C enabled motor driver for later use with other stuff.

Wall-e bot update

  I just recived my parts from Solarbotics.  Got the L293 Motor driver and two GM17 motors.  They are working great on 7.2v,  there alot better than the servos I had.  It is moveing the chassie around just fine! Now just need to put on the three sides and the head. 



 Image of the GM17 motor very nice.


Phidgets! Summer is over!

Wow, I must be the slowest robot builder in the world lol.  I've been playing with this idea for a couple of years now lol. Winter is my phidget time! Here is a video of the software I am creating to work with a SES and Lynx6 arm using phidgets.  The video shows how i've created the same movement delay for my full robot arm that I have for each individual servo using inverse kinematics.

Hoping to come up with something reasonable to control this arm over the web on my webpage.  Probably an overly complicated internet dog feeder or something using distance and touch sensors.

Propeller Powered Paxton Pinball

I thought this was pretty cool & and it's propeller-powered.  Ben Heck (Who I heard of from ripping multiple video game systems apart and putting them in smaller cases) made his own pinball machine, with the theme of 'Bill Paxton'.  It's all powered by a Propeller - he writes about starting out with a Basic Stamp, and moving on to a Prop here.  It was pretty well covered by the media.

My First LMR Blog... first blog ever?

So Im new here...

I have already started my first robot. And as soon as I have got it together to a some what more presentable state I will submit it as a project :)

When deciding what to create as my first robot, I looked at the beginners stuff and thought I could do that, but I still want to be diffrent which is why I am building a 3 legged walker. I'll Hopefully upload a video or two with some photos in the next few hours.

Thanks for reading and enjoy your day.

FIRST Robotics Competition '11 Regionals, San Diego, CA - part 5: Finals and Duckie Damsels

My final installment for this series. I didn't stay to the end but I caught a couple of the final matches and got a souvenier for the memories.

Vid 1: The intros to one of the matches. I think they were waiting for the third red member to arrive so I stopped the camera. When the bot arrived, crew dragging it onto the field frantically, the crowd went crazy. It had no claw, no mini-bot, nothing. A pure defense bot. It was the talk of the pits.

Wireless repeater part working

Got the wireless repeater parts up and running.  The default firmware on the routerstation doesn't have the ath9k driver that the R52nm cards need.  That's ok, I was able to flash in the updated OpenWRT 'backfire' using the 10.03 candidate from the openwrt site (using the 'factory.bin image which I understand you have to use the first time). 

First blog post

I'm thinking this might be a better way to track what's going on with my bot (and me with robotics) rather then clutter up the bots page since not much of this is pertinent to the bot itself.  I am still working on it, and I have not disappeared... not that anyone would notice the new guy who never participates in anything leaving. :)

PortmannFilter, a way to smooth your RSSI Signal.


I would like to present you my self-made filter. It's called PortmannFilter. It can be used to smooth your RSSI data of an RF-Link reciever. Feel free to ask me questions and use it. But please declare in your project the usage of my filter. 

The Arduino measures an analog signal from the RSSI pin of the reciever. Then it does the same again. Afterwards the PortmannFilter compares the two values and smoothes them and too low values are getting ignored. 

Greets the_droid


Maker Faire NYC 2013

Let's Make Robots has been rocking the NYC Maker Faire since 2011. This year Chris the Carpenter will be manning the helm. I'll be helping with some planning and logistics and crap like that.

Update: 5 August 2013

Maker Faire Application

Sid, the clumsy housekeeper

You know I bought a Service Droid from Dagu, right? I wrote about assembling the kit here: http://letsmakerobots.com/node/39518

December 15, 2013.

AI.Frame funding

I've got in contact with the people behind the AI.Frame robots and there are some quite interesting designs. We've got some kits to try them. Now AI.Frame is going the next step and want to collect some funds for a first batch production.


You might recognize some stuff in the pictures. Yeah, my friend and me took that pictures in our DFRobot office.

Sub $4 USD Arduino Nano on eBay.

I am always looking for cheap and small micro controllers. Since I moved from 8051 and HC11 based boards three or so years ago, I have been using the Atmel based Arduinos for the most part.

For the past two years, I have used mostly the Mini Pro's in most projects. I like them due to the small size and the fact they are less than $3 USD on eBay. I would love to use Nano more, but due to cost and issues I have not.  Now, I have ordered a few (5 or 6) Nanos from eBay, and have had mixed results with them in the past.

The problems have been: