Archive for the 'Robots' Category

Building BB-8

Monday, April 10th, 2017

I’m building BB-8. This should have come before my post about adding an aluminum band to BB-8’s dome, but non-linear writing is good for the soul (or something like that).
The main body and the dome are both made out of foam. The dome also has aluminum and 3D printed parts on it.
I’m using a hamster […]

Using littleBits for robots

Sunday, April 9th, 2017

littleBits is an electronic building set. It allows you to plug together various electronic parts to quickly build a device.
I’ve been using a littleBits set to build robots. So far, I’ve only built robots involving simple parts–I haven’t used an Arduino, so there’s no programming involved.
The littleBits sets are nice for being able to very […]

Thought experiment: Asimov’s First Law of Robotics

Saturday, April 8th, 2017

Asimov’s first law of robotics states, “A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.” This sounds reasonable, so here’s a thought experiment about designing some robots to implement it.
The first robot has a camera and a water pistol, together with the ability to move […]

Adding an aluminum band to BB-8

Saturday, June 25th, 2016

For my BB-8, I’m doing mixed materials. The dome and body are both Styrofoam, with additional materials added as necessary. One of the pieces I’ve added is an aluminum band around the bottom of the dome.
I managed to find a strip of aluminum at Ace Hardware that’s 1/16″ thick, 3/4″x48″. The band only needed to […]

Finishing 3D Prints

Friday, June 17th, 2016

I’m building a BB-8. My BB-8 is a mixture of Styrofoam, metal, and 3D printed parts.
Here are a couple of the 3D printed parts:

These pieces printed pretty much the way they’re sitting. On my printer, this left ridges going around parallel to the circles. I finished these pieces by sanding. So much sanding. I spent […]

Robot idea to interact with kids

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

Here’s a fairly simple idea for a robot which could interact with kids:
1. Start with a computer (e.g. a Raspberry Pi).
2. Add a camera which is used to do facial recognition (so the robot can tell who’s standing in front of it)
3. Use a chatbot set up as a child (simple language, topics appropriate to […]

Good first robot

Saturday, February 15th, 2014

MakerShed has Sparki, a good introductory robot for kids or adults.
Sparki comes preassembled and ready to go out of the box. It comes with a remote control for controlling the robot.
The robot has a lot of included sensors and outputs. It’s an easy way to get started with the programming and behavior side of the […]

Robots for kids

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

There’s been some interest in robots for kids.
Robotics is a combination of mechanical engineering (building the robot and making it move), electronics, and programming. There are different kits which let you experiment with these.
First up is the InsectBot by DFRobot. This is similar to the insect robot I built, except I built mine from scratch […]

More updates on my robots

Saturday, January 25th, 2014

Lots of updates on my robots.
The first robot I was worked on failed when I let all the magic smoke out of the MotorShield.
Instead, I built a walking (insect) robot from the book, Arduino Bots and Gadgets. It was a scratch build rather than from a kit. I scavenged a couple of parts from my […]

Robot update

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

I re-soldered some connections on my robot and got the back two wheels working.
I flipped through the book and figured out that the library I was using was configured for 2WD by default. I switched it to 4WD and all four wheels started working, except the right wheels were running backwards. I switched the wiring […]