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Mike Kreuzer

I, Robot

January 14, 2016

I built a robot over the holidays!

I had a few false starts, mostly around power. I knew the original 7805 5V regulator I'd planned on using to tame the battery would get hot, but I wasn't counting on quite how hot. It got very, very hot. So version one was tethered to a power cable.

The UBEC I'm using now's working well. Version two's mobile, and has done a few laps around the lounge room, much to the delight of my kids (aged 2 & 5). Building this little guy was great fun, and I expect the programming part to be fun too. The bot's built around a Raspberry Pi - so most anything that runs on Linux will work. I've toyed with some simple commands in Python, which I'll probably end up using, as well as JavaScript. Maybe I'll give Swift a go as well. I have SSH running from my phone now, though that interface still needs a bit of work.

While I mess around with the code some new parts for version three are on the way. Version three's going to be slightly simplified and therefore cheaper, but also much neater. Gone will be the unused sensors on the wheels and the expensive metal gearboxes, gone too will be the (badly) cut up Tupperware box body of versions one and two.

Sourcing parts has been a bit of a pain. Postage costs from multiple sources, and the delays, sometimes huge delays, three months for the one part with no explanation at all. It would be nice to open the experience up to more enthusiasts. I'm very pleased with the result though. Very pleased. I've wanted to build a robot for the longest time.