Saturday, October 9, 2010

Other robotics fronts

iRobot Create

A couple weeks ago, iRobot visited the local high school robotics club, where I have been assisting, and donated 6 iRobots create with some additional components, included a command module.

Although I own several *ahem* - a lot of iRobot consumer products, the Create with a command module provides me my robotics fix while I fix my other projects.

So far I have just modified and cleaned up the example programs (which are poorly coded).  Currently it just drives straight until it hits something, and then turns.  Next week I will be teaching the kids in the robotics club how to program for the command module (the green thing) which includes an ATmega168.  Hopefully I will have it chasing down other Creates and ramming them using a little guidance theory, IR rangefinder, and a standard hobby servo.

Look forward to some example code for the command module!

Stellaris (TI) Evalbot

Next, recently TI had a deal where they sold their 'evalbot' for $25! That is $125 dollars off.  I couldn't resist, so I bought one.

Some of the features

The evaluation kit includes the following features:
  • Evaluation board with robotic capabilities
  • Mechanical components assembled by user
  • Stellaris LM3S9B92 microcontroller with 256K Flash, 96K SRAM, USB OTG, Ethernet MAC+PHY, and I2S
  • MicroSD card connector
  • I2S audio codec with speaker
  • USB Host and Device connectors
  • RJ45 Ethernet connector
  • Bright 96 x 16 blue OLED display
  • On-board In-Circuit Debug Interface (ICDI)
  • Battery power (3 AA batteries) or power through USB
  • Wireless communication expansion port
  • Robot features
    • Two DC gear-motors provide drive and steering
    • Opto-sensors detect wheel rotation with 45° resolution
    • Sensors for "bump" detection

Here is a video from TI's website!

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