Older blog entries for Automiton247 (starting at number 7)

I started working on a new robot, using the same circuitry as the sandwich robot (eventually, I'll have to learn something more advanced than the line follower circuit :)

Instead of a line-follower, I am trying to make it a, what's it called, photovore. I got the idea from David Cook and his XS Boost Chef's Salad Robot on his website, robotroom.com.

Mine, however, will run on batteries, and the antennas will just be little red lights. I plan on adding whiskers for object avoidance, a piezzo buzzer, and a tilt switch I salvaged from a toy.

I tried building this robot earlier, but I messed up somewhere and for the life of me could not get the thing to work (I think I burned out some of the electronics). So, in frustration, I salvaged all the components I had not destroyed, bought some new ones at Radio Shack, and rebuilt the robot. I have just now gotten to a point where I believe the robot will work. If all goes well, I might have this robot completed by the weekend.

I just wanted to thank scienceboy2 and The Swirling Brain for certifying me as a Journeyer. I was very surprised when I noticed that my identification bar had turned from blue to green. Thank You!

I still have not decided on a new project, although the Boe- Bot that scienceboy2 suggested looks very tempting. A few weeks ago I bought a small TAB robot in a kit from Barnes & Noble. I also bought a Basic Stamp for it. I will start learning how to program the Stamp within the next few days. I figure the kit would be a good (and fairly cheap) introduction into Basic, but we will see.

I also bought an I-Cybie a month or so ago, half price over Amazon.com. Of course, the day after I ordered it, I found it for even less on another website. Go figure! I had a little Buyer's Remorse at first because I had read a lot of bad things about the robot dog during the days that I waited for it to arrive. But when it did arrive, I was fairly impressed. Right now, I could only dream of building such a thing! But maybe someday...

Finally, my line-following robot works! It really works! I had a little trouble with the wheels because I don't have a workshop or the tools to connect the wheels to the motors properly. I rigged something up for now, but I wouldn't be surprised if the wheels fell off after a few days.

Over all, it was alot of fun to build this robot, and educational too. The only downside is that when I show it to other people they say "is that all it does?" and "does it talk?" Kind of takes some of the fun out of bragging about my accomplishments. I still think I did a pretty decent job though!

Anyway, I can't wait to start another project. Thinking about buying a kit. Probably one of the BEAM robots, but not sure yet.

I took some time this weekend to debug my line-following circuit. I could get the motors to work, but only one at a time. Also, one side of the circuit wouldn't work when the line-following switch was connected. I spent so much time convinced that it was the line-following switch because it was the only part that I had not tested out on the bread board. I was sure that was where the problem was. I rechecked my wiring and found out that I had incorrectly wired one of the transistors. After rewiring the transistor, everything worked like a charm!

Now I just need to get the body and the wheels put together. Will probably do that next weekend.

I have soldered quite a bit of the line following circuit together and it works...sort of! I am not that great at soldering yet, but I think I am getting better. My first solder was to the battery connection and making the positive and negative power buses for the circuit. Well I messed up somewhere (I think my points of solder all ran together) and my power switch doesn't turn the power off. I have to remove the battery. Maybe I can rig something up later.

The light sensors appear to be working and all the corresponding lights are working (except for one in a row of three. I don't know where I messed up on that one!) Everything seems to be in order, except that the motors are not working! I feel like Homer Simpson building a spice rack! In the end, it might not look pretty, but I hope it works.

Saturday night I saw a commercial for Honda's ASIMO. Although I had allready read about this walking robot, I was still amazed to see it on a T.V. commercial. Maybe amazed is not the word, excited is more like it!

To see ASIMO walking around on Television instead of an obscure website or book, made me feel like the future is just a little closer than it was the day before.

However, the commercial ran very late at night, so who knows how many people really saw it. But at least I got to see it!

I just recieved most of the parts for the line-following robot yesterday. I worked on the line-following circuit today, but I am still a little confused so I will be re- reading about it tonight. I will probably practice soldering this weekend and buy more supplies and tools.

I am hoping to get Sandwich done by the 18th of next month so I can show it off to my parents when they come to town.

I just wanted to thank Steve Rainwater for certifying me as an Apprentice. I will keep everyone updated on my progress with my line-following robot, Sandwich. (I just ordered the parts yesterday. I should actually be able to get somewhere in the next couple of weeks.)

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