Sep 15, 2013

Unboxing and Doodle cool

The parts for LEGO Test Machine #2 have made it safely across the Atlantic.

Makeblock parts from The Little British Robot Company

You can see me open the boxes and give some initial thoughts and ideas in this video:

When opening the shipping box, I've discovered a DoodleBot which the guys from TLBRC added as a gift. It's robot that can hold a pen and use it to either draw or write. I couldn’t resist so I built it right away and tested it by trying to make it write “Thanks TLBRC”. It 'kind of' looked good on the first try but clearly there is something wrong with one of the servos or sensor. I'm pretty sure that I didn't mount the rotation sensors properly so I'll have a look at it.

Seriously, look at this little thing. How can I stay made at it?

Still it's a really cool little robot base. The Arduino board that comes with the kit contains a ton of features and most are not used by the Doodle Bot. It even has a header to plug a Bluetooth device. Needless to say that I'll most likely reuse it for a future project.

If you ever get your hand on this kit, here are a couple of tips to make it work with the current Arduino IDE. By following the kit instructions you'll get to the right drivers and select the proper board. But to open and build the code in the IDE, you can do this:
  1. Open the Doodle_Bot_Text_Demo.pde with the Arduino IDE.
  2. Click OK when prompt about creating a ''Doodle_Bot_Test_Demo” folder.\
  3. (In a file explorer) Manually copy all the other demo files into this new folder
  4. (In Arduino IDE) Manually 'Add' all those files into the project
  5. In the Alphabet and Doodle_Bot_Text_Demo files, rename all the letters functions by adding the prefix 'l'. (e.g. F() becomes lF())

That's it, you should be ready to build and upload the code to the DoodleBot.

If you have any questions let me know.

Sep 6, 2013

Inside the box

So close I can almost touch it. Parts for the LEGO Test Machine #2 are coming and I feel like a kid before Christmas. Here's some pictures taken by the guys at The LittleBritish Robot Company while boxing all the goodies.

WhoooOOOoooo motors

Looking at the content I got inspired to create a new design focus around the use of the Makeblock wheels.

The top part (1) would go back and forth to assemble the brick by compressing them together. Disassembling the bricks would be done by a claw system (2) able to twist off the bottom brick. Finally the bottom plateau (3) would go up and down using an off-centred wheel, helping in the process of assembling or releasing the parts. It's just a rough idea but feel free to leave your thoughts and suggestions.

Now, how can I make time go faster? I could go to sleep until the package arrive. Naaaaaah I'll probably wait in front of the door like Scott Pilgrim.

You can see all the 'boxing' pictures on my G+ album