My best bits
Here are some of my favourite projects from over the years. Much of my time is split between school, work, other hobbies and occasionally having a life. These projects are something I do for myself when I find the time and resources. For a more detailed description click on “See More” for the project page. Other links will redirect you to a community website (www.letsmakerobots.com) or build instructions.
Glaurung The Burninator
The Glaurung project is the hardware I designed as the new control circuitry for a battle bot named Texas Heat. The controller receives RC signals and is able to control the robot. The main purpose of this board is to control the primary weapon of Texas Heat – a flamethrower. The schematics will not be released as this is a robot that currently participates in BattleBot competitions.
The Raven Quadracopter is a heavily modified GAUI frame that was donated to me. A friend of mine had it laying in a basement with no use, so he offered it to me only if I promised to make it fly. After machining custom motor mounts for larger motors, building a power distribution board and programming a Hobbyking 3-axis gyro stabilization system I have my very first Quadracopter!
I.M.P. (proof of concept)
I.M.P. stands for Intelligent Mobile Platform. He is a hybrid drive quadrapod. The idea is to see how various forms of locomotion can help a robot function in a household environment – he is a pet of sorts. As of right now he can stand and hold 150% of his own weight. Much works remain to be done starting with a good I.K. library. The project is ongoing with no timelines set – this is just for fun after all.
ProtoBot was the result of me needing a quick prototyping platform. Instead of building a functional test jig (boring) I glued, zip-tied and screwed a little robot together! He is awfully cumbersome because his body is a huge breadboard. Never the less, he serves me well in our prototyping adventures. At the moment he is used to reverse engineer a cheap Chinese Bluetooth module to establish communication with a laptop or smartphone.
T - 3
This little guy was rescued from a local value village. It was in the toy section on sale for $4.99, abandoned by an owner who did not care enough to fix it. So I did what any good engineer would do. I brought it home, cracked her open, fixed the motor, resoldered broken connections, found a fitting power source and designed some add-on electronics. I then reverse engineered the onboard electronics to give T-3 the option of following a remote or driving autonomously if the remote is turned off.
Cheap Color Sensor
This is a cheap sensor that can determine the tone of a color placed in front of it. I came across the concept on one of my days aimlessly wondering the vast internet. In a day I came up with the circuitry, wrote the code and built a plastic case for it. This project has been released to the public domain to allow other builders to give cheap color detection to their projects. This project has been featured on www.robocraft.ru
It is a well known fact that every mad scientist needs lightning – it is a prerequisite to any evil lair. I chose the Marx Generator and Cockcroft-Walton generator because of their historical significance and impact on physics (used in the first particle accelerators, triggers for the first nuclear bombs, radar pulses, x-rays and TEA lasers). I adopted plans found on the internet to suit the parts that I had on hand. My generator should produce 50 000V, in reality it produces somewhere between 20 000V and 40 000V (calculated based on length of spark gaps).
I was chosen to participate in a pilot program for my University during first year. Instead of doing the traditional LEGO NX project we were given an arduino, parts and access to the machine shop. In groups of four we were tasked with creating a line follower obstacle avoiding robot. I designed/built the chassis and did the majority of the electrical. Another team member made the CAD drawings and another wrote the code. Our robot placed 3rd out of about 50 that participated.