Archive for July 2010
I’ve a long history of attempting to build a robot as a hobby. None of them have been successful – either by lack of parts, lack of skill or knowledge, or procrastination. Maybe also because of too much thinking, and not enough ‘do’. I found some of these items still lying around…
My first attempt, if my memory serves, came after Altavista searching popped up a robot on an MIT research on micro-ants. Wooo, that looks interesting, I thought — many little robots zipping across my desk, and they look manageable. So I acquired these chain and sprockets as samples. It helped that I was in the electronics industry, close to manufacturing, so an automation vendor helped me get them as samples.
|Hoping to make this…|
Details of this robot and its research can still be found at http://www.ai.mit.edu/projects/ants/ and, its category title lists it now as ‘Retired Robots’.
My attempt — FAILED.
1996 – onwards
So there my quest for robot parts began…
Things I did with them —NOT A LOT: But the collection gets bigger every year…
Sometime in late 2001 or 2002, I really forget when, some UK magazine started a series called Real Robots and was sold in the newsstands down here. It was a fortnightly, and came with robot parts with which one was supposed to collect and assemble into a full working rover. I have my 2 very, very young kids then, so I bought the mags in pairs. If I remember then, it wasn’t released to our newsstands consistently every 2 weeks; I eventually gave up and never got past the 6th(?) issue. That was that.
A search in Wikipedia now lists this robot and its magazine as End of Series.
This attempt — ALSO FAILED.
I was bored last year, so I started designing a few pieces of test electronics tools. These were small circuits on little 30 x 30mm boards. I managed to include some electronics as motor and servo controllers, battery power regulators and other stuff. It kind of grew into a body with some motors and a servo attached to it. It moved for a little while , but it also looked like a terrible hack. So I decided to name it ‘Hgar the Terrible’.
Why is it sitting up there and not on the ground? Because it doesn’t run straight, and keeps bumping into furniture even though it has sensors for avoidance. One day, just one day, I may get back to its programming and improve its attitude. But for now…
This attempt — Danger of Procrastination. ALMOST FAILING.
An old buddy of mine came to me for some electronics and software help in his robotics hobby project. Initially, he wanted to build a hexapod. A little later, it was to be a quadruped. Finally, a biped. I got started on some programming for the feet motion, but these conceptual changes made it hard for me to focus on its programming, and the spirit finally kind of dissipated.
Anyway, the limbs look like an insectoid. I hate bugs.
This attempt — ALSO FAILED.
I NOW WANT A ROBOT CAT!!!
Good luck to me.