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I have now connected both of the motors within Tobbie to the Arduino that I have used to replace the provided control PCB, The DRV8833 PCB that I am using has two H bridge drivers so I just connected the second motor for rotating the head, to the second channel. No other additional connections ere necessary. I then set it to walk for one second, rotate clockwise for one second and then repeat this process. This was just an initial trial programme to ensure that everything was working correctly b ...
The fourth and final week of the FutureLearn Beginning Robotics MOOC has now come.  This week the emphasis is much more on control strategies for the mobile robot and on self-learning. The same types of mobile robots are discussed but with slightly different characteristics. So there are light seekers and light avoiders and those inhibited by light. These are classed as Braitenburg robots. I had not heard of these robots before and this section was very interesting as they use a form of art ...
Now that the existing control PCB has been removed from Tobbie I can replace it an Arduino. I have decided to use an Arduino Nano, mainly because it is small and I have one. It might even be possible to fit it all inside the available head cavity in Tobbie. So far all I have done is to use a low cost dual H bridge driver PCB (DRV8833) which is widely available and just use one channel to drive the motor for walking. This initial programme just turns the motor on for one second and then turns it ...
Now that Tobbie has been successfully assembled it is time to take him apart again so that I can replace the existing control PCB with an Arduino Nano. Despite having only recently assembled Tobbie for disassembly I thought I would have to remove the legs again in order to split the body to get inside the head. After a careful period spent removing the legs, which was much more difficult than I expected, I realised that it was only necessary to remove two screws and the head would come apart!. I ...
Having been involved with mobile robots most of my working life (off and on anyway) I just wish I could make them as good as these!   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4JY_JeodKw   A pity they're not real.   Dubbie ...
Continuing with my investigation of walking robots I have completed making Tobbie, as illustrated in the video below. I am very impressed with the mechanical engineering and design of this product and I think it is a great robot. I am sure that there is much more that can be done with this than just playing with it's supplied functions.     The walking mechanism is fascinating. It uses alternating sets of three legs to move forwards or backwards. It uses three legs because it is al ...
Week 3 of the FutureLearn Begin Robotics MOOC has arrived already, it doesn't seem all that long since I started with Week 1. The content now is much more challenging than the first week, but still understandable.   There is a section on the impact and effect of feedback to control systems which starts with a two dimensional simulated environment showing the effect of friction and slope on the speed of a simple mobile robot and how feedback control can improve the operation.    ...
For some time I have been interested in creating my own walking robot. Not so much the two legged human like but more replacing wheels with something resembling a leg or leg type motion. I have sort of designed and made a four legged quadruped type spider thingy which was OK but was difficult to get walking, as in, I didn't get it to walk. I could never work out the gait. It is all to do with the centre of gravity as with a leg at each corner if you lift one leg the whole thing falls over. So yo ...
Week 2 of the FutureLearn Begin Robotics MOOC has now come and it contains some interesting material. The MOOC has many small steps (30 in Week 2) some with just written articles. some with short videos and some with demonstrations and exercises. The demonstration of using a H bridge to control a DC motor is good, see below:     http://https://www.reading.ac.uk/UnivRead/vr/OpenOnlineCourses/Files/Simulation2/demoPWM.html   It starts to discuss a technique for measuring the bac ...
As part of the Begin Robotics MOOC that I am currently following, a two wheeled mobile robot is used for many of the examples (see Studying : Begin Robotics : Week 1 ). For the MOCC a simulation of the two wheeled robot is used but having seen a video  (http://https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/begin-robotics/0/steps/2875 ) of the actual ERIC I decided it looked like it would be fun (and relatively simple) to build my own.   I would need to redesign the whole structure because the r ...
The first week of the Future Learn Begin Robotics MOOC has now started and I have worked my way through the material. This is a sequence of short videos, written pages and exercises using a simulation. Being and introduction course the content and material is relatively simple and doesn't (yet) contain any mathematics or difficult concepts.   The first exercise is a simulation of a two wheeled mobile robot where you can select the speeds of the two motors to see the effect on the mobile r ...
After playing with the hardware for a while I thought I would see if I could actually make a connection to one of the Bluetooth Christmas Tree light controllers. I eventually managed to download the correct App for my Android smart phone, it is the one with the reindeer and not the one with the Christmas tree (probably - it is not that clear). Regretfully the App does not gather many good reviews with a majority seeming to indicate that the App doesn't work and doesn't connect to the LED control ...
Recently received an email from Future Learn about the Begin Robotics MOOC that I have signed up for, starting on 7th Jan'19. Only a few days now before the fun begins. I ll get to play with ERIC the robot - whatever that is - a simulation I think. I'd like to say that I'm ready, but I'm not as I'm still exiting Christmas.     Dubbie ...