Saturday, October 1, 2011

Mission Statement

**Mission Statement** - To build a stable, modular, humanoid Robot platform to study communication between Robots, learn Robot programming, and study human interaction with Robots. The Robot will further serve as an assistant in as many day-to-day tasks as possible.

There - It's spoken. Going forward all projects should conform to the guidelines above. Next is a To-Do list....

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Time to get organized....

So, where to start? There seems like there's so much to do to undertake a project like this. I'm guessing the first thing to do is outline the overall objectives which admittedly are quite large;
At the proverbial end of the day I'd like to have learned how to program in RobotC and really mastered RoboLab. Also to have taken a Robot project from start to finish (and it really is a cold start - We're starting from the ground up with this) and have the documentation in place so that this exercise can be used or adapted in a teaching environment - possibly starting up the Robot Club again.
So, again, where to start?
One of the main objectives I'd like to show is that two Robots can have meaningful communication with one another even if they are programmed in two different languages, using two different firmwares. Their main means of communication will be by light, touch and sound sensors and sources. To do this I plan to program the NXT Robot (NeXTer -programmed in RobotC) to find and lead the RCX Robot (Giskard-programmed in RoboLab) back to the "base".
I would also like to re-design the Robots to make them interchangeable - Hoping to have a design where either the RCX or the NXT brick can be placed in kind of a cradle, hook up the respective cables, load the programs and go.
Designs need to be documented - I'll be loading LDD soon and will begin to record building instructions. Also plan to use photographs. This process will go along with the re-building / redesign.
Design and build advanced sensing & effect apparatus - For example I'd like to build solar powered LED "eyes" and hands with touch sensors capable of identifying what object is placed in the "hand".
Recent updates - On June 12 / 13 moved in to the shop and cleaned up a new table to be used as a test court. The table size is 127cm x 90cm. The table top is currently covered in a heavy brownish paper.
Also, within the last two weeks, downloaded and installed RoboLab 2.9.4 on the SRM Computer. Before that had somewhat put the SRM Computer (henceforth known as the SRMPC) back together. This machine is not connected to the Internet and will serve as the "base" PC for both Robots.
So, in an effort to move forward I'm going to try and block out a little time each day to do something related to the project....

Saturday, April 23, 2011

New Mision

Communication between two robots, one programmed in RobotC - the other with RoboLab.

The final objective will be for NeXTer to leave the shop, find L. Giskard and lead him back to the shop.

Giskard will need to be found before the auto power-down kicks in (5 min?).

What to do list:
Set-up of dedicated PC - Mainly done, but could use some final "tweaks" and more comms testing (NXT).

Design build a ramp out of the shop - Robots must be able to go up & down it in a stable fashion.

Beef up each robot design - the current configuration of each will not handle the traverse.

Programming.

Documentation - Written & pictures. Still not sure if I'll keep using Blogspot or if I'll simply make a folder and keep all the documentation on the Toughbook...

Friday, May 28, 2010


So, at the end of the day, this colorful being, and his adventures becoming somewhat autonomous and sentient, and my adventures in communicating with him via his programming, is what this Blog is supposed to be about.

His "name" for, identification purposes only, is NeXTer. His current configuration is actually kind of a "version 2.0" (or maybe 1.5) from a previous design I had that just wasn't working out.

This iteration has a wider footprint and is taller to accommodate additional sensors and circuitry. The arms / motors and arm motor support was also redesigned to be more streamlined, allow better access to the batt compartment and allow space for expansion. Finally the "head" was replaced (it was the LEGO US sensor) with the current design which incorporates a home-made temperature sensor. Between the treads, in front, is a home-made IR proximity detector. This allows obstacle detection near the ground level.

NeXTer will be the "base" of all NXT related projects I intend to do for the foreseeable future. It's my intention to build modules that will attach to him and allow him to perform a respective task.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010