Dogcow Robot Building!
For WWDC I want to bring a robot that is small, light, and Apple-riffic, so I chose a Dogcow on my Rampage Robot base!
Most of the time Dogcow bot will be controlled by my iPad using TouchOSC. The way this will work is that the iPad will be connected to the WWDC wifi, the TouchOSC App will be talking to a Processing sketch running on my Macbook (also on wifi), the Processing sketch will be using Firmata to talk to the Arduino. Unfourtunately, this means that the robot will have to be connected via USB cable which probably won’t be much fun, unless I implement a quickie Xbee solution.
There will also be a mode where the Dogcow robot can be autonomous. It has a switch, a potentiometer, and an ultrasonic sensor on it. The switch will control what direction the wheels will be going (forwards or backwards), and the potentiometer will control the speed.
If the potentiometer is in the slowest position, and the switch is set to backwards, then there can be a routine going where the Dogcow robot is roaming around with its ultrasonic sensor and “latch on” to someone if they come within a certain distance. This would essentially use a PD loop, if I have enough time. If not, an if-statement will work. 😛
The programming isn’t done yet, but I hope to finish it tomorrow. And hopefully the curse of the blog-filled promises will not strike! XD
Making a small, semi-stable robot platform is really tricky. I’m used to more loose and experimental robot platforms, I guess!
The potentiometer is huge. I would definitely not recommend huge potentiometers. Also, that switch was huge (I later switched it out for a smaller one).
Using the Ping ultrasonic sensor will be fun. Hopefully it will live up to the rave that everyone has been giving it!
On Saturday we searched EVERYWHERE for dual-lock. Dual lock is almost like velcro, except it is plastic and has no wiggle. Ended up getting dual-lock at Staples.
This robot is paper thin!
You can see some more photos of Dogcow Robot’s construction on flickr.
Here are some tips that I would recommend for people going to do something similar:
– Smaller potentiometers, wires, and switches
– Flip the image of the object horizontally when printing the other side
– Use headers or some modular way of connecting the wires so that if the solder or wire breaks, you have the last resort to be able to plug it in to the original connection
– Be able to take things apart
– Have the parts that can come apart be stable (dual-lock)
– Make the programs straight-forward, no fancy programming
More updates later! Woot woot!