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My Robot        Thoughts        Tips        Links


One thing that I love to do is making robots.  They provide a glimpse into the unknown.  I am currently building my first robot named "OR".  I got this name because from the top view of him, he is in the shape of an or gate.  Eventually I hope to document the building and show pictures but for right now I will give you the layout.

The base of OR is comprised of  3 1/2 layers of clear 1/4 inch plexiglass.  The 1/2 layer is a sublevel of the main base so that the two batteries can ride lower to the ground.  Each layer is in the shape of an OR gate and gets smaller from the bottom to the top.

The Top Layer

The top layer is currently having a 12 digit keypad for security and commands.  The keypad has Leds on it to show status of the system.  On the bottome of the top layer a strobe light was added for effects.  For now this is it for the top layer.

Middle layer

In the front of the middle layer lies a 4 X 20 Lcd mounted on an angle encased in plexiglass.  Behind that is the microcontroller which is the Botboard II.  The Botboards Cpu is the MC68HC811E2Fn.    
Some features are:
- 4' x 5' Inch Board Size            - 32k SRAM with Battery Backup
- Large Prototyping Area            - Easy to use Expansion Port with
- 4 Futaba Servo Ports                 up to 64 pins I/O.  (Just add latch.)
- 4 Four pin Analog Ports            - Piezo Speaker for sound.
- 10 pin IDC for PortE (analog)        - LED indicator on I/O port.
  with 8 analog inputs.            - Memory Protect Jumper.
- 10 pin IDC for PortA            - DIP for MOD A/B and Other Functions
- Full SPI Port                - Low Voltage Reset with DS1233
- RS232 Serial Port             - Uses Motorola MC68HC11 family
- Via access to chip signals        - Low current design
- BOTBoard Serial Port            - Double Sided, Silk Screened Board.

On the bottom of the middle layer I have two boards for blacklight that are mounted under the lower base and a video card that sends video and audio to my monitor.

Lower Level

On the lower level, starting from the front there is a Pan & tilt turret with a nightvision video camera mounted on it.  Behind that are two 12 volt 8 amp hour batteries sitting on a sublevel.  the sublevel is suspended from the top with 1/4 inch threaded rods and nuts.  All the levels are mounted to each other with the rods and nuts.  In the back there is an angled control panel which will have a keyswitch fuses and other necessary controls.  On the bottom of the base there are two gear drive motors running 5 inch aggressive tread wheels.  The motors are mounted with U-bolts.  Also on the outsides of the batteries there are 5 inch blacklight accenting.

Plans for the near future:

Rotating servo and pyroelectric sensor heads Voice synthesizer
Sharp infrared ranging sensors for obstacle avoidance Voice Recognition system
Stronger motors Front caster into a universal bearing
Bigger wheels Fully independent remote control
Upgrade to a graphic Lcd or touchscreen Hamamatsu Uv detector
any suggestions?

My Robot        Thoughts        Tips        Links

Notes and thoughts

    First of all I did something very unusual here.  Most robotisists start out with a comercially made, very simple robot and then move up to the more complicated robots when they have gained the experience necessary.  I Have no experience, this is my first robot, and  made it practically the most electronically complicated you can get;  And I don't like to make commercial robots.  I did this for two reasons.  1.  I knew that even though this robot would take a long time to build I would be able to pretty much make anything else because it used almost every sensor and interfacing.  This also means that this robot is basically a testbed and I will be able to experiment with programing and interfacing right off the bat. 2.  I am much better at building than electronics.  When I make my next robot (a walker) I don't want to have to think about the electronics.  A walker takes much more building skills and I want to concentrate on that first.
    Some of my other theories behind this robot were that I wanted the robot to communicate as much as possible to the outside world.  This is the reason that I put all these sensors on it.  When a person comes up to it I want it to be able to talk and understand and be more like a human or more like an all controlling entity.  
My Robot        Thoughts        Tips        Links


Before I give away my life secrets I  just want to remind you that I have had no formal training.  Also these tips are all for the budget minded person.  So with that out of the way I want to get to my first point.  Unless you need ultimate precision, always buy surplus.  Surplus, for those who are not aware, is excess inventory that is bought up by special surplus companies and sold for extremely low prices.  It would be typical to get a $200 motor for $35 or even better.  All my surplus links are on my Electronics page.
    My next tip is to know as much about electronics and robotics as possible by reading up on the internet and books and if you are lucky enough, have a partner to show you the ropes.  Also A very good idea would be to join a local robotics club.  Their are experts there that will help you out and you can see how they build their robots.  Goto my links to find some Robotics clubs. - FREE Coupons & Deals!

My Robot        Thoughts        Tips        Links

Links Galore

Like my electronics page I have generated many links.  I have pretty much every robotics link you could ever want.  Here they are.

W.M. Berg, Inc
Combat Robots
Commercial companies