5 Sep 2003 xutron   » (Observer)

Good day all,

Phineus received a few more items over the last week or so. Newly added are a pair of wheel encoders, which will provide feedback to cure his tendency to "drift" slightly to the left (a problem with large pneumatic tires not sharing the same diameters).

The equipment bay was redesigned and will be comprised of a 22-inch; turret mounted tower, which will contain 6 - 7 X 5 X 3-inch aluminum project boxes. This is in keeping with the modular design of Phineus. The separate boxes will contain NAV, Arm control, Acoustic, etc... subsystems.

As Phineus is octagonal, he would require 8 acoustic sensors to "watch" his surroundings. I selected two large-scale hobby servos (275 oz-in) to drive two acoustic sensors. These are very large servos and I am slaving a fair size acoustic enclosure (2.5 X 4.25 X 1.25 inch), I eventually want to put to work my fourth semester computer interfacing class and have a 360 degree video sonar representation. The larger servos can dramatically increase the scanning rate! More importantly, I think it looks and sounds so much "cooler" (i.e. goose bump stuff) with these huge servos "whining" away ;-)

What is in a name? I decided long ago that my "budding creation" required a name. My wife kept referring to him as "it" or the "thing" in the basement. After all, we are all proud of the stuff, which we dream up in our heads and this would just not do. As a devote science fiction and fantasy fan, the movie "Jason and the Argonauts" immediately came to mind. Phineus was a seer and set Jason on the correct path to find the Golden Fleece. I think Phineus will send me on the correct path to home robotics.

This is a cool site! I enjoy reading about other members' impressive robots and talking about mine. When I talk about Phineus with my neighbors, their eyes go glassy and they talk about the weather.....Sigh.

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