Older blog entries for jstrohm (starting at number 1)

Just bought a book/kit Stiquito for Beginners: An Introduction to Robotics from a local bookstore. Decided it might be a good idea to build a very simple robot before I started construction on my bigger one.

I like the idea of muscle wire (flexinol and nitinol) except it seems to cycle slowly. I've seen parts for sale that use it but the cycle time is usually over a second which seems to slow to build a walking bot with. I also looked at servo's but they are heavy, expensive, and for the weight not very powerful. I keep going back to air muscles but this will require an air pump, bigger battery, and all the stuff to handle pneumatics. This can get expensive and complicated but it seems to be the strongest for the size.

I finally bought what will become the "CPU" for my robot. It's called a mini-box from and is basically a full 800mhz x86 compatible computer running linux that weighs less than 1kg. It meets all the requirements that I needed. I figure spending money on it will motivate me to get working with the rest of the robot. I hope that holds true.

4 May 2003 (updated 5 May 2003 at 16:09 UTC) »

I'm new here. As I try to build my robot I'd like to get more involved in the robot "scene". I've been programming for over 20 years, but never done much with hardware except build my own computers. I'm currently trying to build a 4 legged self-contained walking robot using air muscles. I know it's a big project, but I rarely like to start simple on stuff that I do. I've been playing around and planning it for the last year and have slowly tested different parts to use in the bot. I still have a long way to go.

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