A few days ago I put in the obstacle avoidance programming for the coasterbot. Almost immediately, he acquired a real personality. The algorithm works incredibly well. Even though the first version of my code had significant bugs — typos, forgetting that moving the sensor servo takes a finite amount of time, etc. — he was [...]
I was featured in MAKE Robot Dispatch #7 — thanks guys! Hard to believe that there is less than a week left in the contest.
One of the requirements of the contest is for the robot to do some obstacle avoidance. The Jameco bundle came with some switches to do bump sensing. While this might be [...]
With the electronics done, it was time to go back and work on the chassis. As before, the DVDs are linked with screws. I wanted the servos to be firmly attached. Since we removed the controller units, this left a lot of empty space in the case, allowing for this type of attachment:
I still don’t [...]
This morning, I got an e-mail from YouTube asking me to sign up for revenue sharing on my “popular video” of coasterbot folding. I didn’t think too much about this, because that was a 10 second video I shot one-handed. I hadn’t even bothered adding an audio track, or a link back here. The only [...]
After building the Ardweeny, and modifying the servo motors, there was only one major bit of soldering left: the breadboard voltage regulator.
The Ardweeny requires an input voltage of exactly 5V, a common requirement for many chips. This is solved by using a voltage regulator. This is available as a simple component ($1.59 from RadioShack) but [...]
We need a way to make the coasterbot move, and without getting too exotic, this means adding some wheels. And some motors to make them turn. The Jameco bundle includes two Hitech HS-322HD servo motors. Once again, this was all new to me, so I did some reading. Servo motors are used to precisely position [...]
I have a working Ardweeny!
The Solarbotics replacement kit arrived this afternoon. I assembled it as before, with a few differences. The male programming headers were put in with the proper orientation. And I decided to test the Ardweeny without soldering the chip in at first — the pressure of the outer pins holds it pretty [...]
The parts bundle for the coasterbot includes a microcontroller to act as the brain of the robot. It is an Ardweeny, made by Solarbotics. Billed as the “smallest, handiest, bread-board friendly Arduino-compatible”, it literally fits on the back of the ATMega328 chip. It’s a pretty cool design, and incredibly small, as you can see in the [...]
I was pleasantly surprised to find that my blog of the coasterbot build has been featured in MAKE: Robot Build Dispatch #5. Fortunately I have been working on the bot, so I can add some new material. For this installment I’ll continue discussing the chassis design.
As described in an earlier post, I want to link [...]
The definining feature of a coasterbot is that its chassis relies on CDs or DVDs. Most of the ideas uploaded to the MAKE flickr coasterbot pool have a robot with one CD, or two of them stacked vertically. There is a good reason for this. A small footprint allows for a more agile robot, and [...]