Name: Matt Perring
Member since: 2006-09-27 01:58:00
Last Login: 2006-10-23 01:15:09
Interested in useful domestic robots, amoung others, such as bionics and universal bi-pedal robots. AI is also a defite interest, in all ways. I am also into steppers as a better way than servos in many applications. I am working on a first project now, which should be finished by December.
Recent blog entries by Trilithon
Having reviewed and re-reviewed my path to creating the thing, I have determined that little or no change in original design needs be done. Be that as it may, I am having problems with choosing sensors, power-patterns, and locomotion power use. Though this robot has 24v at about 9 Ahs available, I am still concerned with power consumption. Waste really bugs me. Wasted power really, really bugs me.
Thus, I am pondering power feedback circuitry. I think it is possible to pump EMF flyback into a charge circuit for my batteries, or at least a cap to drive my 5v cicuitry. This becomes more fun as I progress, and new challenges constantly present themselves. I have revolutionized this robot several times, and expect newer concept everyday. The better it becomes, the more I must restrain myself from making it even better...lol.
I guess machines really can evolve.
I think I will use different motor drivers. I think that the UC3517 will work best as a stepper motor driver in this app. It will deliver about 3-times the current necessary to drive the motors, and has a simple imput logic control.... afterall, I don't want my PIC spending much time controlling motors. After my main processor, I think I will use a Microchip 16F648 to control the UC3517. Using the 648 to control subsystems simplifies things, but could slow them down too, but I doubt there will be a perceptable lag in performance. However, at this stage of development, performance is not an issue. Safety must be the primary attribute, followed by reliability, and then performance. If attribute 1 and 2 cannot be accomplished, #3 is of little importance. But enough of philosophy. The hardware can be accomplished in several ways, but the above shows a simple and totally practical way of achieving what is to be done with this robot. I come up with new tasks for it daily.
I think I have settled on a microcontroller for this first project... a Microchip PIC 16F877. With plenty of I/O and Risc processing, it should be adequate. Also settled on my on-board power supply. I think I will have 12v at 2 amp hours. This isn't a very large robot, so I think it should run for a couple hours with that, but even so, I have plenty of room to triple that.
programmed a little today... looks easier than it actually is. Sort of repulsive how large it seems, then you realize it is simple. But then you realize it is harder. Then you realize u=it isn't quite that simple. Then you understand that you are talking to a machine that just does what it is told, and then you realize it is all just addition and negetive addition. Low-level languages are all we need, though. High-level languages deprive us of learning our devices. Learn the device, communicate with it, and get it to do what it really can. In this infancy of robotics, we have the chance to expand and glorify this world. We need to do this in order to bring about changes that will affect and shudder the world. We can do this.
My tiny creature now has legs. I built a couple of circuits to drive the motors, but in research believe this can be accomplished with a couple of ICs. I may scrap my drivers, after experimentation, for the lighter and more space-conserving ICs.
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