19 Feb 2002 kerwin   » (Observer)

2/18/2002: The first meeting of the Robotics Club of Denver / Highlands Ranch (so far everyone interested is from Highlands Ranch) is set for Sat, Feb 23, 2PM at the Highlands Ranch Library. It is just behind the Safeway at corner of Broadway and Highlands Ranch Parkway. All are welcome. About 10 interested folk so far, with 5 having some robotics experience. I hope it will grow quite a bit.

Meanwhile, I've done some more work on my robot arm. Photos and other info at www.ranchbots.com/robot_arm.html. The motor for the shoulder is powerful but I'm using a rubber belt that I made myself to translate energy from that motor to the shoulder joint. The belt slips quite a bit. So I'm working on rebuilding the pulleys with a strip of rubber fixed to them with glue and then building up the edge to prevent slippage. If that doesn't work out, I may punt and go to a hi torque servo motor on that joint.

I also added some potentiometers to the pivot joints so that I can get some feedback on position. I'm still plinking away on mechanicals. I haven't written any software for this yet. I also have to do a layout for the interface circuit board. I have a buddy working out details on the power supply portion. I don't know DC-DC converters that well, so I asked him to do some consulting for me. I should have that layout done by end of Feb. But then again, I should be rich too.

I revisited my very first project, a tank type steering toy that i fitted with a UHF remote control system that I removed from a satellite TV receiver. I added to it an X10 camera so that i can watch what it is up to. I also gave it a "weapon", a laser pointer that is mounted on the camera base so that it points where the camera does. This will be one of 2 or more vehicles armed with the laser blasters. 2 users can then pilot them around using the TV images being sent back and "hunting" the other. Each vehicle also has a "target" mounted on it that will register a hit from the opponent's laser. Laser tag, on vehicles, by remote control, over a TV. I have some photos and details on that on my site also. www.ranchbots.com/tankbot.html.

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