Saturday, February 26, 2011

Robots: Al.I.S.E

Here is my latest robot. Al.I.S.E is an Aluminum, Infrared Scanning Entity; or just an old-school style crank arm hexapod :) This project was based on the mechanicals of the "Hexapod Monster" kit I built and reviewed back in 2008. I scaled it up a little, and added 2 super torquey gear head DC motors I found at a surplus store in Minneapolis. Power comes from a 9.6v RC transmitter pack, along with a separate 9v for the BS2 microcontroller. Motor control is handled by a Solarbotics 1198 CMD driver board kit. I used pencil top erasers for her feet, and found that using scrap pieces of solid core cat5e cable came in really handy for sub-board inter-connects. Obstacle avoidance is fairly rudimentary at this point, as I am only using 1 IR sensor along with flanking IR LED's. It still seems to work fairly well though. I definitely need to tweak the coding some more. Check out the movie I made of her backing away from some library books and making a run for the front door!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Re-Use Eyewear Case for Electronics Storage

Hard shell eyewear cases make excellent protective containers for small electronic gear. Below you can see an old case I use to store my ipod shuffle, earbuds, an audio extension cable and various audio plugs and adapters. This case lives in my bag and can be treated like car keys without worry of damaging anything.