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The robot is 5'4" and has an arm that can lift objects 45" in the air . It uses a PIC controller that works with a "VEX" transmitter and receiver and it also can take commands from other microcontroller chips. Here is the robot in action.
A note here. I programmed all the PICs myself and do sell them on my site http://diyrobots.webng.com. To get to the plans and schematics for this robot and other projects; you either have to buy something or pay $1. This helps a little to pay for my projects.
Since I don't use standard design practices and build just about everything by hand, the cost for me are kept way down. If you use my plans the cost to you to build this robot would be somewhere between $200 and $300.
I wanted a robot that could be a sensor testing platform and yet be useful when done. This robot is large enough to pick up objects from a floor and put them on a table or else where. Maybe pick up clothes and put them in a hamper? The way the robot arm is designed, it can lift objects over 2 lbs yet use very small motors. I talk more about this on my site.
Since it was designed as a sensor testing platform; at the end of this month, I will be taking out the old controller and regulator from the robot. I will be replacing it with my new Motor Servo Controller System which is a smart modular controller
which in my case will be connected to a PDA. The PDAs I am using have a RF link. This way I can keep track of all the sensor reading from the remote PDA. One of the problems I had interfacing the PDA to the controller was that if you don't use (keep hitting the keys) the PDA, it will turn itself off. I had to hack the PDA keyboard to run wires from it to a 4016 chip, so it thinks a key is being hit.
I will be using and testing the Sharp GP2Y0A21YK Distance Measuring Sensor. Yes, I have built sonic measuring boards over 30 years ago and they could tell if an object move even a fraction of a inch. The problem is, they are not good around pets. I don't mean that they may just give your pet a headache. Your pet can cause false reading and no, your pet doesn't have to be a bat for this to happen! I almost always around pet birds. One chip from them and you can kiss your reading good bye. There are many other things that can cause errors. The sound of running water, metal tags on dogs, etc.
Yes, the Sharp GP2Y0A21YK has it's problems too but picking up interference from other light sources is NOT one of them. One of the problems is that they can cause lots of electrical noise. Which not only affects it's own output but can affect the boards they go to.
The other problem that no one seems to talk about is the reading for the Sharp Sensor can be off by a huge amount if it only clips part of the object. So if you have the Sharp Sensor mounted to a servo to do scanning and you are getting numbers sometimes that don't seem to fit in; this may be the reason why. The same may happen if the sensor is mounted to the bottom of your robot base and the robot is going over a rug.
So I am going to use the robot to see where the best places will be to mount the sensors. Since some of the sensors will have 6 feet of wire going to them; it will give me a chance to see what problems that may cause. Well that's it for now.
When you get time, drop by my site.