Older blog entries for SomeoneKnows (starting at number 5)

Robotics activities this week

Made modifications to my robot VexingBehavior in preparation for my Vex Workshop presentation. Added new cross members to mount the Ultrasonic sensor and below for the Line Following sensors. I also rebuilt the way I had the axles in the drive motors. I’m using the Tank Tracks and the way I had the motors, rotation sensors and outer track assembly mounted the axles would slide out. I fabricated an outer bracket that reaches between the front and rear axles and compresses the assembly holding the axles in place.

Added to my Vex programs for a line following routine. I have an example program using EasyC and have taken that to build a version using MPLAB and the WPILib library so EasyC is not required. I intend to make a third version using the C18 compiler without WPILib as another programming example.

Attended the team meeting for TeamTonka #1752

Attended our Kansas City Robotics Society (KCRS) meeting on Oct. 6.and we had a good-sized crowd. Actually we had our largest group ever thanks to a FIRST Lego League that stopped by after their meeting. We also had three students from TeamTonka in attendance.

Our KCRS meetings are now at Science City in Union Station. I’m on a committee to help with robotics related exhibits for the Science City museum and we got a tour of the facilities to see where exhibit space is located.

Presented at another Lego Mindstorms NXT workshop based on the third robot design from the Lego Mindstorms Mayan Adventure book. The kids built a SnapShot Bot robot that used a digital camera and took pictures as it drove around while leaving a trail of strings to retrieve the basket containing a key that unlocks the tomb’s library door.

I'm helping as a mentor to the FIRST Robotics team, TeamTonka #1752, and decided to put up a challenge for each team member to keep a blog of the robotics work they did each week. So to start that challenge I'm offering my entries:

My contribution to robotics this week...

Attended TeamTonka's weekly meeting and walked with the team in their homecoming parade.

Took my grandson to his FIRST Lego League team meeting.

Helped Angela get her Vex programming working.

Developed and presented Lego Mindstorms NXT Design and Programming Workshop for adult mentors at HMS-Beagle Science Store www.hms-beagle.com.

Presented Lego Mindstorms Design and Programming Workshop for kids ages 10 to 14. Session #2 of 5 at HMS-Beagle Science Store.

Editing my notes for upcoming Vex Design and Programming Workshop.

Built tool for vacuum forming Polystyrene and Polycarbonate plastic parts based on article in Make magazine #11.

Helped build a jig for positioning mirrors on mirror arrays for the KC Space Pirates Space Elevator competition entry. www.KCSpacePirates.com

Started working on another personal robot that will be converted from an RC 4WD chassis combined with a little red wagon.

I just finished listening to a 2 hour recorded conference call for senior mentors about Marketing and Promoting FIRST teams.

Preparing for the Kansas City Robotics Society meeting this Saturday Oct 6 at the KC Science Center in Union Station 12:30PM all ages invited. www.KansasCityRobotics.org

Ordered an AVR in Circuit Emulator with USB interface from Sparkfun today. I'm starting to work on a project where I'm using Microsoft Robotics Studio (MSRS) with some Atmel controllers.

I became interested in their product when I tried debugging and AVR Butterfly and found out that my old programmer/debugger wouldn't work with 3 volt devices.

5 Aug 2007 (updated 5 Aug 2007 at 01:35 UTC) »

Presentions I've given on Microsoft Robotics Studio (MSRS)

Aug. 4, 2007 Kansas City Robotics Society.

July 21, 2007 St. Louis Robotics club.

July 7, 2007 Kansas City Robotics Society.

Well its been so long since I've posted here and my entries are out of date. Over the last couple of years I've been helping with FIRST Robotics and found that to be quite enjoyable. I'll have to try getting my experiences up to date.

I've been working on a Visual Basic program to interact with my MarkIII robot. I'm using techniques I've learned from the VBTerm programming sample code. I have the program reading the Rick Farmer Bootloader messages and getting the VB program to instruct the MarkIII to erase its existing program and load a different hex file program. The program seems to be working but I need to clean up the code some more. The reason for doing this exercise is to learn more about serial communications programming.

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