Name: Christopher Jones
Member since: 2004-02-19 15:45:00
Last Login: 2013-03-18 12:47:53
Hi my name is Chris Jones from Bristol, England. I've been building hobby robots on and off for donkeys years or so. Many can be seen on Roger Arricks or Tom Buricks website. I've got a bit of experience working with military bomb disposal robots too - those things are fun to play with! Once upon a time I did a degree in robotics and now I work as an engineer applying the principles of cybernetics when whenever I can!!
- Lead Developer on Android
Recent blog entries by c6jones720
I though I would share my latest robotics project. Im building a robot tank. I was planning to be able to remotely control the tank either using a normal radio control handset or with a wireless network.
I built a pair of Electronic speed controls for the tank tracks using Picaxe 18 Microcontrollers. The speed controllers take in standard 1-2ms PWM signals and convert them into output PWM drive signals for the motors lasting between 0-18ms.
There are lots of analogue circuit diagrams on how to do PWM motor control for radio control type stuff but not much in the way of microcontroller based projects I found, so I just did it myself and it worked.
I would definatly use picaxes to do PWM motor control again, even though the BASIC interpreter is a bit slow the chips are more than fast enough to do motor control.
I have a picaxe.net server and I was planning to use that as an onboard computer but Im afraid it just isnt man enough for the job. I was planning to use the I2C output from the board to control extra I/O by sending the Picaxe.net server TCP/IP commands but it just didnt work out. - Not a problem Im going to use a SheevaPlug server to do that job instead..
There is some interest at the moment on docking robots with thier chargers on 914pcbots.com. I see Chris Schur has posted his research document on this subject. Good stuff! I have posted a link to it on the other site.
Its funny the more advances I see in robotics the more it seems to tie in with human psychology and intraction.
Im going to pick up my Android PCBs from the manufacturer tomorrow. It took a while and cost a bit but its all ready now for installation.
The really annoying thing is that I designed the servo controllers to communicate to the PC via RS232 serial. In the time between giving my design to the manufacturer and receiving it I more or less redesigned it with USB electronics instead which are totally superior to my RS232 design in every way!
Got an email today from the guys that are making my android PCBs. Looks like they are going to be building them over the next few days.
I'll probably have something ready by Mid January. Annoying thing is they are only building the surface mount stuff so I have to do the thru hole stuff myself. Still it gives me a chance to replace the H bridge transistors with power mosfets for some serious robot kick!
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