Dark Helmet

built by James Munro

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Target Environment Locomotion Method
Indoors 2 Wheels
Sensors / Input Devices Actuators / Output Devices
3 Reflective opt-sensors Modified servos
Control Method Power Source
Autonomous Battery
CPU Type Operating System
BASIC Stamp None
Programming Lanuage Weight
Time to build Cost to build
About 8-10 hours About $60.00 USD
URL for more information
Functions: Line Tracking Robot


Parts used:
Wheels: (2) 2 1/2" Du-Bro Lite-Flite(?) wheels
Motors: (2) Servo motors modified for continuous rotation
Brains: Basic Stamp clone "First Step" microcontroller as sold by Lynxmotion, Inc.
Sensors: 3 Reflective opto-sensors
Frame: 1 Mobile Robot Platform ( B-Bot made by Marvin Green )
Power: 6-pack of AA batteries (Rechargeable) for the servo motors and 1-9V battery to power the logic
A local robot club that I am a member of ( Chibots ), is hosting a demonstration of line-following robots this month ( April 2001 ). I'd like to enter into this competition since it's not overly difficult. I would also like to incorporate a nice *looking* robot into my creation. Given that goal I've decided to build my robot *into* a cheap flower pot that, when inverted, gives a somewhat "robotic" shape. This isn't a new idea, I have seen others use this design but of course I think mine is cooler. ;) Having to build the robot within a framework is a good engineering challenge as you are limited as to what you can do with the physical boundaries imposed by the "skin". It makes it harder, but I feel this is offset by a satisfying looking robot when completed.

Overall, I'm happy with the result and plan on building more, larger "flower-pot" bots.

Problems encountered:
Problems getting the Basic Stamp 1 to behave with a variety of sensors. I've never been wild about using stamps but I wanted to put together a robot that wouldn't be taken apart to supply other robots with parts so I used up an old MCU that I had lying around. I have had assorted problems, so if you have a fix for 'em, please email me! :)

1. Servo on Pin 0 goes crazy when I try and use SOUND on pin7.
2. With all the pins populated, I can't get it to recognize a button press on pin6 or any other pin.
3. Non-stamp problems, decided that having a rotating head maybe wasn't such

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