Older blog entries for robotvibes (starting at number 13)

Wow! Has it really been that long? Well, I have some updates. I am finished development on UltraMega, and began working on UltraMax, aka Max. UltraMega is a great platform still, but there are a number of limitations.

I learned a lot on Mega, and it was lots of fun. UltraMega now will be a bot for show and tell, and I have a few programs as demos (odometry/navigation, obstacle avoidance behaviors, etc.). The Ultra legacy continues...

I will give an update on Max real soon...

6 Oct 2006 (updated 6 Oct 2006 at 23:47 UTC) »

Greetings,

It's been awhile, but i've been working on a few things. The robotics club has been getting off the ground, and I had to work on some other tasks such as the website, making flyers, posting in different places, promoting, etc. Also been working on finding a better place to meet. There aren't many people in the club at this time, eventhough some have shown interest in the past, but interest has dwindled. Therefore, more promotions and leg work are needed. In time, we will build our membership, and the new location may also be better exposure.

I've also been helping a member getting parts, to build a robot chassis. He has a Basic Stamp Board, and is starting to learn, and doing some experiments.

I ordered some samples for the club from Atmel in their AVR microcontroller line. I have been using these for about 2-3 yrs now, and I enjoy working with them for their free tools, ease of use, and features. So I will also put together some workshops/tutorials for the club, on how to use these controllers.

Progress in terms of actual hands-on work, on UltraMega has halted for the moment, however I have been doing research on fuzzy logic and neural networks. Very interesting stuff, and I'm excited in implementing these algorithms for UltraMega. More about that another time.

On the other hand, I've been working on a sort of promotional robot called "HyperBot", for kids who may be interested in the robotics club. There are some pics in the club gallery showing its current state, however, I am currently working on the AVR controller. I will probably add a project page on this site. More about this another time.

Any ways, I'll update again real soon...

- robotvibes

Greetings,

I have been involved in starting up a local robotics club, South Florida Robotics Society (Sunbots). The website is basic right now, but will be updated real soon.

We had a meeting last week, and it was good. I was expecting more people to show up, but 3 of us got together and did a show and tell of projects, skills, and vision of the club. Some passers by seemed interested, I explained what we're doing, and then signed them up for more info.

The meeting was held in the parking lot of a local RC Hobby shop, and they had a race later that day, so they were on the track(parking lot) practicing. It was noisy and irritating after awhile, eventhough we didn't want to leave so we can continue talking about robotics.

We are trying to find a place we're we can hold the meetings, and also to begin working on our projects like 'Robot Builder's Day/Night Out' (RBNO/RBDO), similar to what other clubs are doing. We will be doing more promotions including flyers, reaching out to the public for more interest, like a membership drive.

We concluded that I will be the President (acting), for now, and they will have other roles.

We are planning on having another meeting maybe this wknd, and another next wk. Will keep you posted, and if anyone's interested, you may contact us at our website.

- robotvibes

12 Jun 2006 (updated 27 Jul 2009 at 20:58 UTC) »

Greetings,

I made some modifications to UltraMega's batteries, hardware, and some coding. More details on our site.

Thanks!

- Kevin

I have been working on the code for UltraMega, and had to make some changes. Some statements were deprecated in the latest build of the WinAVR/GCC Compiler, so the code had to be revised for those issues.

You can read more on my site: RobotVibes

Thanks!

- Kevin

I have added some pics in the UltraMega Gallery. There is a few older pics included, and they show UltraMega during its earlier stages. I was experimenting with some threaded rods to add height to UltraMega, and they seem to work fine. I decided on using 12" rods, as 24" would be too tall and would render the robot unstable. There are 2 decks prepared and will be added, where other modules will be located.

Since the motor controller is connected, simple testing yielded successful results. So next, I will be working on reconnecting the IR sensors, and then the bump sensors. I need to get these tasks completed, and get working on other higher level tasks. Later!

- robotvibes

Today is my birthday, and it was a good day! There was a Solar Eclipse today, so I have been wondering...is there any astronomical/astrological significance to having such an event on your birthday? An event similar to the planets being aligned, or other planetary events. If anyone has any comments...please let me know. Thanks! In any case...My fiance and I will be celebrating this wknd. Awesome!!!

I have updated the site with a Guestbook, and also restored the Forum. I have deleted the threads, but the topics still remain. I am also replacing the current Gallery with another, that seems to work better, and simpler. So check it out sometime!

- robotvibes

I have been tearing down UltraMega to do some cleanup on its chassis, and overall presentation. The white plastic cover is peeled off, and now its body is all transparent. The body panels still need some smoothing out from the fresh cuts of the jigsaw.

I also have to double check some wiring, since there may be a loose connection in the battery charging wires.

I am also thinking about revising the height of the overall robot, and making it taller. So I am experimenting with some 24" threaded rods to add other decks, and components.

There is still some docs that need electronic conversion, and will add these to the Downloads section. I will finish these maintenance tasks soon, and back to the bump sensors for the lower chassis, and more. Pictures will follow soon, as I just purchased a new 5.2 MP digital camera that takes nice pics. Stay tuned....

12 Dec 2005 (updated 12 Dec 2005 at 03:11 UTC) »

Season Greetings,

I just got my 1st issues of Servo, Nuts & Volts, and Robot magazines....AWESOME! Really interesting, and inspiring.

I also just wanted to drop a note to The Swirling Brain(Jim) and others, that the December issue of Nuts & Volts mag has an article on page 36 about The Flying Marbellos, or Rolling Ball Sculpture. There are also some other interesting articles, including hacking the Robosapien (if roschler is interested). You can take a look and also get a sample issue online. Check it out at: Nuts & Volts

Holiday Cheers!

3 Nov 2005 (updated 3 Nov 2005 at 03:27 UTC) »

Greetings,

OK..back in action. After Hurricane Wilma came through, I didn't have any electricity, or phone service so I was unable to post an update. So now that things are returning to normal, I can continue with UltraMega.

I was able to mount the bump sensors on the chassis, and it seems like it will work fine. I am using a strip of transparent vinyl tubing with the music wire inserted inside. The tubing is wrapped around the front of the chassis, and also covers the left and right sides for the front end.

The internal wire will be connected to ground, and small strips of wire inserted through the tubing will be the Normally Closed (NC) contact, of the bump switches. Tinkering, and some rudimentary testing yielded successful results, as the music wire created a spring-like effect, and the tubing allowed some shock absorbtion.

When I am done with mounting the assembly, I will be connecting it up to the debounce cct, and testing the response. The schmitt trigger ICs should clean up the signal also, which will be sent to the interrupts of the AVR. The microswitches will also be added, but I am still noodling their correct placement.

I have also moved the IR sensors up to the 2nd deck. The left and right sensors are positioned to detect objects within their respective field of views. The front sensor is mounted on a stepper motor that will scan the "blind spots" of the left/right sensors.

An updated schematic, and pics will be added to the site soon. Stay tuned....Peace!

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