Ratchet & Clank – 3D Printable Robot Kit

Way back in 2011 I built my first ever robot Sheldon. I always liked his overall look, so a while back (2012) decided to use his overarching style and structure as basis for a 3D printable robot kit. However as with so many of my projects back then, development was put on the back burner whilst I finished my PhD. The idea behind the kit's design is to be an easily extend-able platform that can be utilised to provide basis for many and varied robot builds. ...more

Building a Calibrated Tilt Compensated Compass with the LSM303

The LSM303 Breakout is a nice little compass module that consists of a triple axis accelerometer and a triple axis magnetometer. When used together this combination of sensors allows the LSM303 to perform 6D orientation detection and provide all the data needed to calculate a tilt-compensated heading. This post introduces an Arduino sketch that allows both calibration of the LSM303 and the saving of calibration data to the arduino's EEPROM. This data can then be recalled to configure the LSM303 for use at a later date. ...more

Playing with the ArduIMU+ V3

The ArduIMU V3 is an Inertial Measure Unit (IMU) plus an Arduino compatible processor that can run Attitude Heading Reference System (AHRS) code much like the Sparkfun 9DOF AHRS board. The hardware consists of a 3 axis accelerometer and three gyro sensors, dual power regulator (3.3v and 5v), GPS port, an Atmega328@16mhz and a lot of status LED's. The best thing about it is unlike the Sparkfun board, this one has additional analog and digital pins so that you can add additional sensors and inputs. ...more

The 3DR Power Distribution Board & Assembly

A  Power Distribution Board (PDB) is a simple circuit board who's function is to distribute the power from a battery to the four Electronic Speed Controllers (ESC's) that are used to power each of a quadcopter's motors. For my quad build Penny, I opted for a PDB made by 3DR. My rationale for this decision is that unlike other PDB's the 3DR board design includes connection heads for each of the ESC's servo headers ultimately resulting in a single plug connection that can be used to connect the ESC's to the main control board (in my case an Ardupilot Mega 2.5) and also one which can be used to power it too. ...more

Project Penny – My First Quadcopter

Ever since I first saw a quadcopter a few years ago I wanted to have a go at building one. So slowly over the last year I have been collecting all the parts, with the idea that following the completion of my PhD, I would treat myself to putting one together.This week (with some much appreciated help) I finally got around to getting my first quad build aka Project Penny finished and off the ground. ...more

Project Leonard – Bar Clamp Chaos

Well this week I had some time off and was finally able to devote some overdue attention to some of my many on-going projects. First in line was my 3D printer build Leonard. It's been a while since my last Leonard posting, what with work, Koothrappali and Project Wave (coming soon) poor old Leonard has just sat in a corner collecting dust and er.... breaking!!! To my surprise over the approximately 3 month period since I last did some development, nearly all of the printed bar clamp parts have failed and those that are still in one piece, are showing serious signs of fatigue. ...more

Kinect Robot Power Adapter

Those of you who have been following via my facebook page would have seen that I have been toying around with the idea of utilising the power of the Kinect with my latest robot build, Koothrappali. In order to facilitate this however I first had to verify that I could run the system unmodified with my tablet and with a portable power source. Point one was easy to resolve, and after installing the drivers I soon had the Kinect up and running. Point 2 however, was a little more tricky, but also achievable via the development of a custom Kinect Robot Power Adapter. ...more

Interfacing a PSP or DS Touch Screen with Arduino

The following post demonstrates via an Arduino sketch the interface of either a PSP or DS Touch Screen with an Arduino Pro and/or Pro Mini. The PSP and DS touch screens are both 4 wire analog resistive touch screen's. This means by touching the screen at one point, a resistance between each edge is formed for both the x and y axises. As you move your finger across the screen the resistance changes between opposing sides of each axis. ...more

Koothrappali and the Arduino Motor Shield

In today's post I am going to kill two birds with one stone as so to speak. Primarily I plan to introduce the Arduino Motor Shield R3 and provide an accompanying tutorial, in turn also allowing opportunity to introduce you to my latest robot build, Koothrappali. After all, what better way to get to grips with a little code than with a practical example. ...more