Pretty cool right? All of the electronics were from the Arduino Starter Kit. Here were all the electronics used from it:
2 Yellow LEDs
3 Blue LEDs
2 Green LEDs
Lots of resistors…
It actually takes up all of the pins on the Arduino, which is great. All of the LEDs can be controlled individually, and the RGB and white ones (which are behind the googely eye) can have PWM.
Here are the extra parts and tools that were needed. If you don’t have any of these you should get them, or find a substitute. Some of these are obvious, but this list will serve useful for any newbies looking at it!
Craft sticks, popsicle sticks, coffee stir sticks
Wire, shrink wrap, electrical tape
Soldering iron, solder
Scissors, wire cutters, wire strippers
I started creating the robot just from the popsicle sticks. I wanted to try out a mechanism that was in my brain for a while, a way to control two eyebrows with one motor.
There is a lot of electronics in the starter kit, which is just awesome. It’s way more than you need, which is super for experimenting! I’m probably going to be using the LM293D for hacking the Useless Machine in a later project
So there are some interesting things in there… like a servo, funky coloured thing (aka pinwheel), lots of leds. I painted the eyebrow structure orange and this is how the idea is coming along:
There’s not that many wires for this robot, but I organized them with some tape so it would be quicker to plug in.
All of the pins are used! Yipee! Happiness!
With some testing of the pins and such, we can make the robot look differently!
With some more programming for its behaviour, it is done! (See the video for it in action if you haven’t already). There were some issues when programming it at first- I was writing and testing it when no LEDs were turned on. Since we’re using a breadboard, turning on the LEDs added some noise that I didn’t account for. So I had to scrap the entire program and just rewrite it. It works great now, though! I really like the way it has turned out.
From the side:
Eye from the side:
From the top:
Looking towards the board:
What’s left over (also notice how the eyebrows were cut out of the cardboard from the kit hehe)
It’s really great to have it running on your desk while you are typing away working on something. It goes to ‘sleep’ after 15 seconds or so, and its white LED does the Apple breathing pattern. When I was editing some of the photos, and got up from the chair, my shadow must have triggered the robot and it woke up, singing a little, so I interacted with it a bit! It’s almost like a real creature!
Back to the Arduino Starter Kit now… the book is cool. Makes me wonder if in 10 years, will they be rare like the Heathkit instruction books?
At the end of the video tutorials that go along with the kit, Massimo always says “Arduino is YOU”. So apparently I am a crazy robot builder with an unorganized desk then:
Thank you RS Components for the Arduino Starter Kit. It was really nice to use it to build another robot. They have videos of Massimo explaining the projects and such over here. Everyone should check it out and let their imagination run with it! Maybe even build a sibling to ‘Weird Eye Robot’, haha.
Arduino is YOU! Weird eyebrow robot is CREEPIN’! -)
Also, if you noticed all of the wire, I finally used up the last of my yellow wire, and heat shrink. So right now I don’t have any stranded wire, and I’m running low on the solid core wire. If any of you readers know anyone out there who can donate a spool of wire, and some heat shrink, please let me know! Any help is really appreciated! Thanks!
These boards were supposed to look amazing. However, they turned out BLANK!
First of all I was really lucky they arrived. They were supposed to be sent with the RoboBrrd Brain Boards, but for some reason they weren’t. However they were mailed the same day, so how can you figure that one out? I didn’t have a chance to solder these up since I received them a few hours before getting on the bus to Montreal Mini Maker Faire.
So now it is time to have some fun with these boards, let’s add in some LEDs! Since there are no labels (tip: in geda pressing ‘h’ while having your mouse over the component will display/hide its component name label), I checked with the schematic first and figured out that the circle is supposed to be positive.
These traces really look nice without a fill around them!
The positioning of the LEDs looks geometrically unpleasant without the artwork there.
Each RoboGlyph needs 12 LEDs and 4 resistors. Wow, 24 LEDs sure goes by quickly. Maybe in the future we’ll be able to buy ‘a dozen LEDs’ from our corner stores. They kind of look like a goofy flower.
I’ve never really played with charlieplexing before, but I tested a few of the wires and some LEDs did light up. I’ll be experimenting with it more later on to get it working. Maybe RoboBrrd can wear it as a pendant or something.
Now it is time to investigate why this has happened. It’s probably something weird with the top layer. Here is a screenshot of the various gerber files. From left to right it is, version 1, 2, and 3. Version 1 is the original design, 2 is after Laen suggested I make a fill, and 3 is that suggestion after confirmation that it would work but now a little tidier.
However, if we turn off the top layer and look at the top mask layer, this is what it looks like.
Going even further, this is the top silk layer.
So I’m not really sure what is going wrong here. I’ll probably post this question in some forums and see what the answers and suggestions are. Hopefully it can get figured out soon so I can order the boards and have them shipped in time for Maker Faire NY!
Thanks to everyone who donated to my robotics fund which contributed to the fabbing costs of this!
It was an interesting experience. Next time hopefully these will turn out a lot better.
As @missmoun said: “Epic Fails make glorious memories as well.”