Let's Make Robots!

DARPA Robotics Challenge

DARPA Robotics Challenge Trials will be held in Homestead, Florida on Dec 20 & 21. It's a bit of a ride from Orlando but It's a definite possibility. Anyone from here planning to go?

Printer recommendations

I'm thinking of either building one or buying a kit. Seems easy enough to build from scratch but why re-invent the wheel and possibly make the same mistakes as early builders.

Since funds are very limited I'd like to hear from experience how good the cheaper models are, what designs to avoid or at least what to look out for, and reputable sources. I can handle assembly and troubleshooting so a bit of work is not a problem. I just need something for small volume small parts as I'm not doing too well with casting.

Robotics company names etc. and job titles

Well it looks to be about impossible thinking up a name for a robotics compay or website address etc. without someone already using it. Unless you come up with a completely made up gobblygook word you're out of luck. Every variation with robot or automation etc. is already used.

Wanders around sensing obstacles with ultrasonic & IR sensors.
Using a
T.W.E.R.P. - The Wandering Electronic Robotics Platform was built to test sensors and code for future projects . The platform is the bottom of a RAD 1.0 robot (I … Read more

Robotizing an old Power Wheels toy.

I recently acquired an old "power wheels" T-Rex kids ride on toy. So my choices now are:

1) use the drivetrain for a robot - I started a robot page but no progress to report yet

2) use the whole body and convert to a robot - could be a test-bed for self-driving vehicle

Servo knockoffs ?

What's with all the Tower Pro servo knockoffs? I was just about to buy some Tower Pro MG996R servos and I noticed they're mostly Towardpro, even from hobby shops listing them as "Tower Pro". Anyone know if these are cheap knockoffs or are they manufactured by the same company under different labelling?

I've also seen some color4way that look like the Tower Pro purple label on ebay. Since I'm seeing them at hobby websites listed as Tower Pro I'm afraid of what I'll get when I order.

Recommendation for drawing program

What software does everyone use for making design drawings? That's weak area for me so I'm looking for a free, easy to use drawing package so I can design parts and approximate the final look of my robots. I had Google SketchUp but had to do a clean install of Windows and before I get it again I wanted to see what others use.

Oh, and I guess it would help if I could output files compatible with 3D printers & CNC.

Microsoft based robots, oh noooo.....

Microsoft jumps on the bandwagon.

http://www.zdnet.com/microsofts-gadgeteer-aims-to-make-creating-gadgets-as-simple-as-building-with-lego-7000021393/

How long will they keep this alive or do you think it will actually take off and innovate?

 

Matching rc receiver to power chair joystick control

A new wrinkle popped up while trying to test an interface idea between an rc receiver and power chair joystick control. Pin 8 is a switch output that's not connected unless there is a switch. Since the power chair has a feature that locks/unlocks the wheels to the motors and throws an error (flashing power lights) when wheels are disengaged I'm guessing that's the switch. The switch (if there) should be connected between pin 1 (+v) and pin 8 (switch output). So with the switch in the error state (open or closed, don't know) pin 8 would be ???