josborn is currently certified at Journeyer level.

Name: Justin Osborn
Member since: 2001-04-28 15:36:31
Last Login: 2004-01-22 18:36:39

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I got interested in robotics when my school entered the U.S. FIRST Robotics Competition. Unlike most schools in the competition, our robot is about 99% student built. This means I got to learn a lot about mechanical and electrical engineering. This year I was head of pneumatic systems, so I got a lot of experience with that. I used the knowledge I gained through the competition plus help from the PPRK site to build my own robot, PalmBot. I created it mostly because I didn't want to pay for the whole $300 kit that Acroname sells. Instead I bought some servos and the SV203 and started designing. I plan to add FischerTechnik pneumatics sometime in the future. I'm mostly interested in robots that do things (however useless) in a cool way. That's why I'm going to work on AtariBot (turning an Atari 800 into a small mobile robot). I'm very interested in hobby robots and getting more people into the field. In the "real world" I'm interested in mobile robots created for planetary exploration (Lunokhod, Sojourner), as well as underwater ROVs like Jason.

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Been a little while since I posted here, a lot's been going on. Finished my first semester at the University of Maryland (Go Terps!). Had a lot of fun, didn't learn a ton of engineering (in class anyway). I've modified PalmBot to pick up soda cans. My plan is to mount the IR distance sensor on a small servo, and have PalmBot try to identify the soda can by doing a sweep with the distance sensor and looking for half circle patterns. Now that I've got it mechanically completed I just need to program it. I'll hopefully have new images posted on my website soon (as well as on PalmBot's page here) and maybe some video once I get the software written.

I went back to my high school on Friday to visit teachers and the robotics class there. I'm planning on helping out with Blair's entry into the FIRST competition over winter break.

After New Years I'm taking a road trip to the Orange Bowl, and then I'm coming back and working again in the ISD at NIST, probably programming robots. I'll hopefully have plenty of free time in the evenings to work on the PalmBot software.

Yup, I did it. I bought the FischerTechnik Pneumatic Robots kit, and I've started adding pneumatic components to PalmBot. Right now the arm is mechanically complete, and once I get a soldering iron tomorrow, it will be electrically complete.

The kit is pretty darn cool, it has 4 cylinders and 3 3/2 way solenoid valves. It's got a nice compressor and a sizable tank. I'm powering the whole thing off of a 9V battery, the valves and compressor are controlled using reed relays, which are controlled by the motor outputs on the SV203.

Lucas NovaSensor sent me a sample of the NPC-410, a pressor sensor with a tube that fits Lego tubing. I had heard that Lego and FischerTechnik tubing was mostly interchangeable, but the sensor tube is just slightly too big for the FischerTechnik tube. I'll have to play around with that.

Has anybody seen Enterprise lately? I like it, seems like it's pretty well done so far.

Figured I'd better give a status report in case anyone's listening. During my last week at work I finally got my program (under Linux) to use the laptop's serial port correctly. I got the robot driving around and even implemented some functions not available in the original program. I'm hoping to work again in the ISD at NIST over winter break.

In other news, I'm in college now, specifically the University of Maryland. You can check out my brand spankin' new college website here. It doesn't have very much on there now, but it does have some cool links to information about Lunokhod, a mobile robot that Russia sent to the moon in the early 70s. Since I'm in college now, I haven't had a lot of free time for tinkering, but I'm still planning on trying to do a mobile AtariBot. That's it for now.

10 Aug 2001 (updated 10 Aug 2001 at 13:34 UTC) »

Had the last CCA Lego Robotics class last night. It went pretty well, we had one team that navigated a maze using just the optical sensor on the prebuilt robot, and the other team got pretty close. I've had a lot of fun with the class and I think the kids have too, and I think they've learned a lot.

The other thing I got to see last night was Brandon Heller's four legged walking robot Q actually walking. I used to bug him about how much time it was taking him to make it, but it's working now and it looks nice. He's planning to enter it in the CJRC this fall.

On Thursday we had the second meeting of the CCA robotics class. We had a contest to see who could build the tallest structure with the Mindstorms set. I think the kids had a lot of fun.

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