Older blog entries for robotvibes (starting at number 9)

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


- 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) »


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!

Greetings All,

I have installed 2 new features on robotvibes.com, which are "Gallery", and "Downloads". I am working on changing the layout/look of the site as well.

I added my Tech Project proposal of UltraBot 1.0 to Downloads. I am not sure where the Final Project is, but you can get the general idea from the proposal.

I am also working on fleshing out some details for the current specs of UltraMega. This will be available in the Downloads section, and a summary in the Journal.

Still tinkering with mounting the bump sensors, but the debounce circuit is built, tested and ready.

Stay tuned....

3 Oct 2005 (updated 3 Oct 2005 at 18:42 UTC) »

While designing the bump sensors, it deemed necessary to install the front and side panels on UltraMega, as the sensors would be mounted on the front/sides of the chassis, forming around UltraMega's body. I will be using piano wire, and some "nylon nose gear bearings" used on model airplanes to attach the bump sensors to the panels. This may still need some tinkering, to get the best response when UltraMega bumps into an object. The front/sides are now enclosed behind the panels, which are transparent lexan, that allows one to view inside the body (Nice looking!).

I have also built the debounce cct for the bump sensors, and will be connecting them to the AVR external interrupts, and testing them out.

I finally wrote up a 1 page spec of UltraMega, which should be available in Downloads. Though some updates will be made, as I get the chance. Some schematics will also be available as well.

The light sensors(Cds) will be installed next, connected to the AVR, and starting programming behavior experiments.

Note: current pics coming soon...

I designed the debouncing cct for the bump sensor in OrCad. I am also experimenting with some microswitches and piano wire for the front chassis, along with a thin strip of Lexan for the bottom of the chassis.

I have lots of documentation roughly written on paper(schematics, charts,etc.), so it needs to organized and converted to electronic form. I will also have them available here as well.

For robotvibes.com, I am planning on installing a picture gallery for the robots, and change around the look a bit.

26 Sep 2005 (updated 26 Sep 2005 at 18:49 UTC) »


I have mounted the controller power and reset switches on the 2nd level. Once the panels are mounted, the switches should be exposed just enough to toggle on/off or push reset on the controller.

I also finished up the AVR controller, and it is also installed. A quick interface test with the PonyProg yielded successful results, as the code is read/flashed. Next on the list: Bump sensors, Odometry, Light Seeking/Avoidance behaviors, and more...

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