Simple Bluetooth Joystick

In this post I will introduce a couple of Arduino scripts and the accompanying circuitry needed to make a very simple Bluetooth joystick. The first script simply provides you with all the basic code needed to read from a simple PS2 style joystick. This script is then expanded to include the capability for joystick calibration. Calculated calibration values are saved to the micro-controllers EEPROM so that they can be automatically retrieved next time the hardware is connected. ...more

Setting up a Bluetooth Mate

Here we have a quick tip type post detailing how to configure a spartkfun Bluetooth Mate for micro-controller based serial communication. To this end I will detail how to change both the Baudrate (bits per second for serial data transmission) and the name of such a modem. Once you understand the basic method needed for communicating with these devices, you will be able individually customise them to match the bespoke needs of your project; including features such as setting the devices password and enabling and disabling authentication. ...more

Adding Events to the Serialport Script

In this post I present an update to Unity3D Serialport Script so that it includes an event trigger that can notify any other Unity3D MonoBehaviour that serial data has been received and then parsed. Included within the event is both the parsed data and the raw data so that the notified behaviour can respond accordingly. ...more

Ratchets Headlight Prefab

In this post I will introduce some code developed for controlling Ratchets Headlights. The presented script extends the growing C# Mono Ratchet library of scripts for Unity3D and formulates the basis for yet another Unity3D prefab. As with the other scripts that I have featured as of late, the script utilizes both my Simple Serial String Parsing Code and my UnitySerialPort Script to provide serial communication capability between a Unity3D application and Ratchet the robot. ...more

Basic Differential aka Tank Drive

With the Ratchet hardware build now complete, my developmental focus has turned to the software needed to run him. First up of course has to be getting him to move. The following post introduces a couple of basic scripts, one in C# (for the desktop) and the other in C (for Ratchet himself). The scripts have been developed to provide Ratchet with capability to calculate the speed and direction values needed for differential drive movement, both on and off the robot. ...more

Unity3D Serialport Script

This post presents a script and or prefab developed to allow drag and drop capability for serial communication within the Unity3D game development ecosystem. This in turn allows for the use of  custom gaming controllers and hardware developed on platforms such as Arduino and Netduino within Unity applications. The script is included at the end of the post and is also available for download. As always it is fully commented so that you can hopefully easily work out what is going on with the code. Events Update 06.03.2014 Please note that his script has been updated to both include event triggers and the removal of the threaded  update loop. For more information please see the post: Adding Events to the Serialport Script. ...more

Ratchet Headstock Assembly

Here we have another posting on the on-going build of my robot Ratchet. This time around I will detail the construction of the headstock assembly and present a simple script developed to help with the alignment of servos. The good news is, is that this is the final task in terms of hardware assembly. ...more

ServoBot LED Headlight & Sharp IR Bumper

In this post I will demonstrate the assembly of the bumper for my current robot build Ratchet. The bumper contains both a Sharp IR distance sensor (for obstacle avoidance) and a pair of LED's for headlights. One of the key features that I liked about my last robot build Sheldon was the use of flashing combinations of the headlights to indicate information such as current mode etc. I found it so useful that I decided to duplicate this functionality for Ratchet too. ...more

Arduino and the Sharp IR Proximity Sensor

In my last post I demonstrated how I modified a couple of Sharp IR sensors for use with my ServoBot Shield. It recently dawned on me however, that some of you might not know what these sensors are for, and how they are used. With that in mind I decided to put together this quick post as a bit of an introduction etc. Introducing the Sharp IR Sensor The Sharp IR family of proximity sensors are probably the most commonly used sensors by robot hobbyists. This is because they are inexpensive and are ideally suited to small robots. ...more