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 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

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

Sheldon 2.0 – Bumper and Headstock

Happily I managed to get quite a lot done on the Sheldon 2.0 upgrade this weekend. Primary focus was that cleaning up the wiring and putting together the bumper, however I also managed to put the headstock together too. ...more

RIP Sheldon 1.0 – Hello Sheldon 2.0

Today is a sad day, poor little Sheldon the wonderbot 1.0 is no more. Due to a design floor several of his wires came loose whilst traversing the kitchen step and the rest as they say is history. However now that even Humpty Dumpty can be put back together again I am filled with optimism and am looking at this sad event as an opportunity for an upgrade :) I started by striping the poor little bot down to see what I could salvage. Luckily most of the damage was just wiring related and the loose wires have not seemed to have burnt out any of the major components (despite the smell and visible smoke). ...more