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

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

The ServoBot Shield

Last month I published a post detailing the construction of a power harness for my servo based robots Ratchet and Clank. The harness is used to connect one of two battery sources to either an Arduino or a simple power distribution board (PDB). The PDB, much like its qauadcopter equivalent, is a simple board that is used to distribute power across each attached servo, whilst also breaking out each their signal lines so that they can easily be connected to the Arduino. During the publication of that post I began thinking; why have a separate board with all those wires? Why-not just put together a simple shield that does the same thing in a more compact manner? After toying around for a while with the idea I came up the design for my very first ever shield, The ServoBot Shield. ...more

The Cruciferous Vegetable Amplification

[one_half]For those of you not in the know: "The Cruciferous Vegetable Amplification" is the second episode of the fourth season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. Within the episode one of the main protagonists (and my personal favourite),[/one_half] [one_half_last]Sheldon Cooper works out that he won't live long enough to download his consciousness into a robot body, and by way of result he then attempts to extend his lifespan by changing his diet and then developing the Mobile Virtual Presence Device (MVPD, fig 1).[/one_half_last] ...more

Ratchet & Clank – Power Harness

Today my attention turned towards a means of providing power for my servo based 3D printed robots, Ratchet & Clank. In order to achieve this I first off defined a list of requirements that any potential solution must fulfil: Separate power sources for both the servos and Arduino. Can be turned on via a single switch. Can power at least six servos. Luckily the circuit turned out to be dead easy. All I needed to do was tie together both of the ground wires coming from the battery and then wire them to the switch. The switch then provides the ground source for to two male servo plugs. Each plug is also connected to one of each of the positive lines. ...more

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