Week of 08/07/2011 – Motor Problems and Other Projects

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Another week has gone by without making much progress on the SBot project. My primary problem has been getting it to turn reliably. There is seemingly insufficient torque to turn with the weight even with 4 DC motors, but they are wired in parallel in sets of 2. Using the bathroom scale, my robot weighed in at a reasonable 3.8 pounds. There are ways I can turn over a distance but not within a small space which is needed for docking. After some research and posting online, it doesn’t seem that my problem is power related even though the LCD does dim when the motors start moving. Disconnecting the LCD doesn’t seem to make a difference, so I really need stronger motors. Last week after having coming …

Robot Control Web Site

wpsuperadmin Programming, Robot WebSite, SBot1, SBot2 Leave a Comment

Since SBot 1, I have been working on a web site to control my robot. This way any platform can control it as long as it has a browser. Eventually I may create specific apps for Android/iPhone just for the experience of mobile app development as I have not had the opportunity. I recently added forms based authencation. Before it would prompt for login. The back end uses Active Directory.  This is the control site for SBot 1. You can see a tab for JBot1. That is an implementation I setup to use java to refresh the images so they are smoother but doesn’t work for mobile. Control site for Sbot 2 which doesn’t have all the controls yet. I started with the simple ASP.Net example in …

Week of 07/24/2011 and 07/31/2011

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Even though this week isn’t over, I still wanted to post my current progress since during the week of July 17, most of my time was spent packing for Comic-Con in San Diego. It was an awesome trip and I will probably post pictures soon. I wasn’t able to blog about it or my robot again last week because with travelling, plus that many people at the Con, and lack of sleep, illness struck so I was out sick most of the week. So far, this week, I was able to make some progress. Me and my girlfriend have started a schedule to get us back into a weeknight routine so that we can work on projects and other to-do’s that …

Security Bot 2 Completed Pictures

wpsuperadmin SBot2 4 Comments

After my project was posted on Hack A Day I realized I don’t have pictures of the completed build. Of course it goes it without saying that it is really never completed. Who knows what we will be added in the next year or two?  Sensor ouput on LCD Right: distance sensors and brightness across the bottom. Left: camera angles and battery levels. Bottom: temperature and humidity followed but the last spoken text. View from the rear which includes the IR switches on the left and right. At the bottom is the DC jack that is connected to the charging rails underneath. The PCB from top to bottom, Xbee, Voice, Proto, Mega Left: shows the microcontroller battery and step-up. Charging dock using copper …

Week of 07/17/2011 Status update of SBot 2

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I’ve decided to set a goal of blogging about my project progress at least once a week. I get so enthralled with code and such that I set aside blogging about it. Week Status: This past week was spent working on the serial read and parsing functions and now working on the website. Next Week Goals: I have a robotics meeting coming up in one week and a half so I really need to spend the time to work on motor control. Forward and backward works pretty good. I wish the sensor detected objects better but I need to do some testing on the field of view for each sensor. My main problem is finding an efficient way to turn. The …

Serial Reading and Parsing

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The code for SBot 2 started with playing with the SpeakJet from SparkFun. I used the code example they posted and my code grew from there as I added functions. This lead to some bad code for receiving serial data and parsing it. Since it was based from the example I had added some code to look for a command character and therefore had some duplicated code and bad data handling. For awhile, it was fine and worked for what I needed. Finally, I was ready to start updating my Robot Web Controller site to add SBot 2 as it was only setup for SBot 1. The SBot 2 has a completely different API. This is where I noticed an odd problem …

Security Bot 2

wpsuperadmin SBot2 6 Comments

After completing my first Security Bot, I had come across the DFRobot 4WD platform. Once viewing some projects made with it, I was inspired for my second creation. This time around I decided to cram as many sensors into it as possible. My goal was to make this my main robot that I could continually expand upon. I started ordering parts in January mostly from my three favorite sites. Sparkfun, Adadruit, and now DFRobot and DSS Circuits.  I also a ordered a Arduino Mega Protoshield from NKC Electronics. It turns out Adadruit sells the same board. I decided I wanted to make this one more permanent and use the protoshield and solder everything with header connections for the sensors. This makes it much cleaner and easily …

HBRC 9th Annual Tabletop Challenge

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During the Maker Faire I attended a presentation about ROS, Robot Operating System. During which I heard about HBRC, Homebrew Robotics Club. Finally I had come across a group of other people that worked on robots at home. I attended my first meeting Wed, May 25th. Here is a link to their site if you are interested.http://www.hbrobotics.org/ This past Wednesday was 9th Annual Tabletop Challenge and potluck. For the potluck my Girlfriend and I decided to get creative and come up with some sort of robot or Android inspired idea. In the end we ended up with these. Can you tell what they are? Post a comment below what you think.

Maker Faire 2011

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It’s been four years since attending my first Maker Faire, and this year was great! Each year there are a lot of awesome projects, robotics, electronics, DIY, and the like. This particular year was even better since I am now becoming increasingly familiar with DIY robotics. I felt that I was able to relate to a lot of the content more so with having worked on my robotics project. Below are a few pictures and videos of some of the projects I saw at the faire. Microchip’s ChipKit: http://www.microchip.com/chipkit Listening to Massimo Banzi (Co-founder of Arduino) and Chris Anderson (Editor and Chief of Wired Magazine) Surface ocean research robot(not sure of the name): Google’s SKPR bot: Master Chief: DIYDrones and their ArduCopter: Testing …

Kid in a Candy Store

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Where I live there isn’t any electronics stores, any “real” ones anyway. There Radio Shack and then about an hour away is Fry’s Electronics. Both don’t have much as far as components and actually have noticed Radio Shack has more than Fry’s for components. Last Friday I was talking to a co-worker about the lack of stores and what I needed for my robot. Then he mentioned Santa Cruz Electronics. The website could use some updating but I started to get excited that there might be a place that has most things I would need. Its about 45min from the house but only 20min from work. This is perfect. Saturday I wasn’t really planning on going but we wanted to get out of …