built by Tony Mercer

Target Environment Locomotion Method
Indoors Static
Sensors / Input Devices Actuators / Output Devices
N/A 3 stepper motors
1 geared DC motor
Control Method Power Source
Tethered Battery
CPU Type Operating System
Intel 80x86 DOS
Programming Lanuage Weight
Time to build Cost to build
N/A see description
URL for more information
Harold is a 3 axis pick and place robot built from an old record turntable (for the waist) 3 stepper motors, 1 geared DC motor, 2 DPDT relays with a contact rating suitable for the DC motor, thin sheet metal and wood, assorted toothed belts and hobby type gear wheels, string, rubber bands, etc. It uses a PC with a parallel port, a mouse, VGA, 12V power supply and 2 stepper motor driver boards. These boards were described in the January 1994 edition of Silicon Chip, an Australian hobby electronics magazine. The software needed was described in the same magazine of November 1995. The software controls stepper motors, 4 solenoids and to react to 4 sense lines. The software was written using Visual Basic for DOS and all functions and controlls are accessed using a GUI.

Costs: The software is available from NewTech Education Resources for $50 Australian but a shareware version can be downloaded free of charge. The kit of parts for a stepper driver is also available from NewTech for $39 Australian. A flat ribbon cable with appropriate connectors to join the driver boards to the PC is available at $16 Australian. However both versions of the software contain a readme file that includes details of the electronics required for those who want to roll their own. The registered version of the software inludes a 54 page manual that describes the software, construction details for an example robot, and a tutorial.

Tony Mercer tonmer@erebus.hie.unimelb.edu.au

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