Nashua Robot Builders April '97
By: John Cook
W O W! What a meeting!
This month we met at a new place, Cyber Jo's Internet Cafe in downdown Nashua NH and we had the best turnout ever! Eight people came and we had lots to show off:
a Six Legged Walker by IS Robotics came and demoed his three different walking gaits to all of us. Hermes was smart enough to detect the lot of us hanging around and not run into any of us as we all peered in for a closer look. Hermes also sports a powerful 68000 based processor running L, Rod Brook's Lisp derivative for subsumption based programming.
Beast: My own 'bot now sporting an attachment for manual control via a standard PC joystick. I put a control on each of the four buttons available so for each button I could:
Drive the bot around,
Swing a servo from side to side
Brighten or dim a high brightness RED LED Brighten or dim a Blue LED
Pressing two buttons at once caused the servo to swing in the direction of turning so it acted as a sort of steering indicator as to where the 'bot was heading.
Corky Mork's Basic Stamp Bot:
a very small but cleverly built 'bot powered by a BASIC Stamp featuring two servos for driving around, left right, font and back, another servo to swing a "head" sporting blinking LED eyes, and a speaker which spouted a short but taunting tone. All this was controlled by IR remote control!
Jim Wild's Armitron: Hey, its Radio Shack's unique triple jointed arm back again for a show. Stop trying to grab at those mobile 'bots!
Matt Cross's little trundler:
which features a toy tread base, balsa wood construction and a bumper cut to match the toy's turning radius. It roamed slowly around bumping into things and backing and turning away.
Wow, with all these
robots roaming around we almost had a little Robot Wars game going on with my Beast roaming around on the end of the joystick tether and Corky's little taunter getting IR commands. Great fun for all.
S T U F F W E W A N T T O B U I L D
Ok, May is really absolutely the IR beacon finding contest. I'm not gonna put it back any more. All you gotta do is goto Radio Shack, buy one or two of those Sharp 40 kHz IR reciever modules, and make a robot that goes after it. Fastest robot to find one wins. To test it, try using your TV remote control. It makes lots of 40 kHz IR.
Club Robot ??
Jay Francis has suggested we invent a board and platform which can be used as a base for future robot construction by all members, esp those without a machine shop to make one. It would
have to be simple, but expandable and easy to program and NOT TOO EXPENSIVE.
This is a tall order!
If anyone out there can meet our spec, we'll seriously consider your 'bot design for our club's
official robot base.
NRB Robot Club Spec:
Single Board processor board with at least 16K of RAM, preferably
68HC11 based Built in peripherals for 2+ motors, PC serial connection, servo motors, analog + digital inputs, SPI or I2C port optional but prefered. Software libraries for built in peripherals in C or BASIC. Cost:
less than $100.
Robot Base Spec: Small and simple to assemble, using common household tools. (screwdriver, drill, etc.) Uses readily available motors + gears. ie: servos or MondoTronics motor + gear sets. Small but expandable. Cost: less than $100.
Thanks for your input!
N E X T M E E T I N G
Next time is May 10, 1pm at Cyber Jo's Internet Cafe . 58 Elm St, Nashua NH. Thats one block south of City Hall, between Kinsley and W. Hollis St. Upstairs around back. Meetings usually run until about 4 or 5 pm and Jo is very happy to see us. Meetings are still free unless you want to use Jo's computers.
Hope to see you there!