Name: Max Acroyear
Member since: 2005-01-22 02:01:06
Last Login: 2005-03-04 20:32:59



As a youth growing up in a small industry based town in northern Canada during the 1970's and early 1980's, I had alot of time to explore my own creativity with the construction of robot like toys made from Meccano, Lego, Capsela and the loads of old junk my Father would bring home from his job as a mechanic. Old bulbs, dc motors, switches, joysticks, pieces of metal, relays and wire. From these I would build my "robot" buddy, my comrade in arms that would would be deployed for the most of mischevious deeds. One such Troidbot, based on a Capsela motorized base, had an old walkie talkie that spewed broad band noise when turned on. I would carefully drive it near the family tv set (which had an antenna, we didn't have cable then) and would inject noise onto the tv signal, causing my father to jump up and adjust the antenna every few minutes, unknowingly under my control. Fortunatley for me we also had a Radio Shack dealer that was part of a general audio and video electronic store that also sold cameras, records and musical instruments. Even though it only took one corner of the store, I could buy all manner of electronic components, digital logic and books with my allowance. You also got a free battery once a month back then as well. From Radio Shack I also got the 300 in 1 electronics lab and the 30 in 1 digital lab that allowed me to learn how to build my "electronic brain" for my robot buddy. I had no microcontrollers then, only good old TTL or mickey mouse logic to use. I also had all manner of robot toys, waiting to be hacked into Troidbots, as I called them. I had Tobor, who wasn't that impressive at all, perfect for modification. I had Microtron and various Micronaut toys, Durham Industries Robot 2500, that actually walked,its cyclops eye shining. All manner of electronic gadgetry was kluged onto them to give them more ability to perform the secret missions I sent them on. The king to own back then was Omnibot (or the Radio Shack version of Robie Sr.) Alas, it was out of my price range. I am sure that many people have had similiar fond memories from their youth as well. Its with an eye to my youth and and outlook to the future that I explore the world of Troidbots again. While I may still work on more complex robot sytems and projects, the carefree exploration of the building of Troidbots offers a pleasant, low cost escape that can be shared with family and friends.

Recent blog entries by maximus_acroyear

12 Feb 2005 (updated 12 Feb 2005 at 00:32 UTC) »

One of the projects I am starting will use embedded

solutions of application specific microcontrollers as

the main control topology. It is a four motor robot with a 2

wheel tripod base and two motors that act as arm/grippers

similar in style to what the Tomy Verbot does for picking up

stuff. It is called the Unidroid, and is a troidbot (a

robotoid construct.)

I will use a data construct model of my own ION (Input

Output Node)hardware based AFSM as a simple augmented

finite state machine and then have various AFSM's in

different network configurations for different emergent

behaviours. The networks of AFSMs will then be modeled as

data constructs within a microcontroller.

I also want to have a command interface that will allow the

user to give the troidbot commands to complete simple tasks

as limited by its sublevel behavior properties. It will be

autonomous in the sense that it should be able to avoid

objects on its own when moving to complete tasks and I would

also like it to have a default autonomous mode behavior when

it is not processing commands from the user. I would also

like to to have a learning/memory system attached to the

autonomous sub level behaviors to allow it to be able to

handle unknown situations when they happen.

Aside from that I am looking into direction determination

units using the Philips KMZ51 part. This substructure will

be used in the Unidroid in order to give it general location

instructions represented by two variables, direction to

travel and distance to travel. A vector.


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