Recent blog entries for TravisMS

Finally, FOUR months later, and with the craziness of the holidays over, and my work room clean, organized, and ready to go, I've had a chance to get to work on my electronics/robotics projects. I'm a little rusty having not done any significant work with electronics for a little while now, so I'm touching up on that. Also will be getting back to some PIC programming and getting started on a servo controller (at this point I'd rather build one than buy one - the more practice I can get going into this, the better)!

Hopefully I can make some significant progress over the next couple of months. I'll be moving this summer/fall to a new house (with a LOT more space and room for expansion), and am considering taking the couple courses I need in order to apply for a Masters program in Computer Engineering, where I'd be spending a lot more time on all of these things!

Wow, two months later, and I'm still at the same point in the project. I started getting everything together, but other home projects required my attention, so I haven't done anything else on my hexapod project. However, I just completed an addition on my house, so I will FINALLY have my computer room/work room back and can get working on the project again this fall/winter!!

Another step closer. I'm still working on the final designs and decided that the best thing to do would be to get some materials and start experimenting. I've decided on how the legs will be made, but can't figure out the body I want to use. I've got plenty of ideas from info I've found on the web, but I'd like to have something a little more unique and easy to customize later on.

So, I ordered a variety of aluminum stock to start working with, as well as 4 of the 12 HiTec HS-322HD servos that I'll be using so I can begin fabricating the leg brackets. I also ordered some misc. electronics (particularly crystals) for experimenting with the PIC.

I've been wrapping up my initial designs for a hexapod walker. It will be fairly straightforward - aluminum body and legs, 2 degrees of freedom on each leg, and PIC controlled. I have a list of sensors that I want to include, although I'll begin with basic collision detection and an ultrasonic range finder (on a servo-controlled based).

I took the first step (and most costly) in preparation for the project and purchased a serial PIC programmer, PICBasic compiler, and a 16F88 so I can begin learning the details of PIC programming and capabilities. I'll be working on that for the next couple of weeks until I have some extra $$ for the servos I need, and can then begin building the servo-controller circuitry.

That's it for now - I will continue posting here as I make progress with the robot!

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