Let's Make Robots!

Hacked LIDAR Development

Found this 'neato' (wait for it) little project on diydrones.com.  The project details the workings and implementation of a hacked LIDAR device from a Neato XV-11 vacuum cleaner robot—for the purpose of reusing it in your own personal robotic projects.  Makes for some interesting reading.  Check it out some time....




Robot related groups around St Louis MO


Recently I found out that there are a number of LMR members really close to where I'm at. These are the public robotics related groups around St Louis MO USA. (I'm not including the school based groups -like FIRST- as those are not truly open to the public.)


St Louis Robotics - http://robomo.com/

Central Illinois Robotics Club - http://www.circpeoria.org/

Arch Reactor (hacker space) - http://www.archreactor.org/

St Louis Maker Space - http://www.meetup.com/Saint-Louis-Makerspace/




Thinking about building a Wallace.


I am thinking about building a Wallace Reprap.  Are there any others that have it?  Pros? Cons?

Thanks for any info!


Making Your Own Jumpers

I recently wired up my Vader Service Droid, but I'm not happy with the resulting rats nest of jumper wires. The mess is partially due to the pre-fabed jumper wires. I'm stuck with jumpers that are tool long in a lot of cases and too short in others.  I managed to cluge it all together using some header pins and with solid wire, but the result feels...less than optimum.

Has anyone had success in building their own F-F and M-F jumpers to custom lengths? 

Youtube SCAM Alert

I found this guy stealing my youtube video's on his own channel. He literally downloaded my video's (some with my voice) and reposted them under his account. I reported the fraud and will wait to see what they do to him. But you guys need to check your stuff and report these jerks....just saying.....!!!



Happy Arduino Day 2014

All Arduino user groups, makerspaces, hackerspaces, fablabs, associations, teachers, pros, and newbies will celebrate the Arduino Day 2014 on 29th Mar.

ICStation wish all Arduinos fans have a great party that day. And we offered 20% off on all Arduino related items from now on.

Enjoy Arduino Day, Enjoy ICStation Offer!


Question for Oss, Hoff, or someone with a 3D Printer

Alright, got my parts in for the Kossel, ran into a snag.

I don't suppose you think I could do something like this to fix it...

Help to convert a blank ATmega328 into a speech synthesizer chip for under $5

Some time ago when I was looking at the cost of speakjet and other hardware speech systems I remembers that back in the 80's there was a program call S.A.M. (software automated mouth) that ran on my Atari XL. It was also available for the C64, Apple and possibly some other systems.

How many versions of arduino have you got?

I've got a few versions of arduino on my pc and I'm probably wasting space but I bet I'm not the only one.
Just wondering what versions are best to keep. I believe there are incompatabilities with existing code for some older or newer versions.
At the moment I've got 21,22 and 23 and 1.0.3.
Are there any I haven't got I should have and which of these should I ditch.
Also is there a way to tell each version where it's sketchbook is and keep it. I've noticed that when I switch ide's I have to change the sketchbook back. Really annoying.

Waiting for a Pixy and Thinking of Challenge

I don't know how many of you ordered a Pixy from their Kickstarter, but I've seen the camera mentioned several times on LMR.

I was thinking of issuing a challenge to see who comes up with the first Pixy aided robot but I think such a challenge needs to be better defined.

What would be a good challenge? Line following with Pixy as the only sensor?

Bioloid CM-5 programming

Has anyone here ever interfaced with a CM-5 via a serial connection?  I'm going to be borrowing a CM-5 and want to use it to control some AX-12 servos.

My plan is to piggyback off of some Java programs I've written to interface with Arduino.

I guess my question is, other than opening a serial connection and reading/writing the correct protocol, are there any gotchas I should know about before I spend a few hours debugging something simple (we've all been there, amiright?)



Trouble Collecting


First day joining LMR. Love this site! I found a number of robots that I would like to follow the progress on. But when I click on the Collect link I get a HTTP error 200... I am using Google Chrome has anyone had this before?

Really sorry if this is this wrong spot for posting this, I did a search and came up empty...

Propeller QuickStart Boards on Sale at RadioShack

Apparently RadioShack is putting their QuickStart boards on sale for $19.97. The normal price is $35 (possibly more at RS).

I know I'll be checking my local stores for boards (though I don't recall ever seeing a QS locally).

In case you haven't heard, the Propeller is a great microcontoller to use with robotics.

Spider Controller powering up through USB only.

Hey guys,

I hadn't used the the spider controller for around 2 months. ( was working great back then) A few weeks ago, I picked it up again, tried powering up through an external power supply, and booom. ( no it didn't blow! :D)

But it did not power up.

It works fine through the USB cable. I checked the switch. It was damaged too. I have replaced it with a new one, but to no avail.I am assuming that the 5V regulator might have gone out? What do you suggest guys?


New Arrivals Of ICStation - Plus Coupon Code‏

Dear LMRians,

10% Off On All New Arrivals, Enjoy it Now!

Coupon Code: 5ics ($5 OFF $50); 15ics ($15 OFF $100)
Discounts Valid until March 15, 2014. The price of the on sale items is not included.

Combining multiple servos together.

Does anyone have experience with using a wiring harness to supply servos with power? I basically want to cut all my servo leads and run a single set of power and ground lines to daisy chain all the servos in each limb of a biped (6 per leg, 3 per arm) together.

My Favorite Chip Sample!

I keep saying, I got into robots for the women...Max, back me up here. :)

cannot let motor go backwards

I'm programming to TREX motor controller. Somehow I cannot make the motor go backward. However, my code is pretty much the same as the sample code in the tutorial. Could someone help me out? Thanks a lot.

The code is like below, when the inputSpeed less than 0, it should set lmdirpin and rmdirpin to 0, and therefore go backwards, however, the code doesn't work and I cannot debug it out. And I'm sure the pin numbers are right. Can any one help me to figure it out. Thanks for the help.

What Causes Multiple Posts?

It sure seems like there are lots of multiple posts on LMR. I think it's happened to me but not very often.

Is it caused by someone hitting the "Submit" button more than once? Or is it just a glitch in the LMR software?

I'll experiment with the multiple button press theory in a reply below.