Hobby Robotics, is it dead?

25 years ago, robotics was all the rage. Everyone in "high tech" was into robotics. MIT had the "Micromouse" contest where you needed to create a small robot that would race other robots through a maze.

These days, almost no one is doing robotics. Where are our R2D2s? Roomba? HA! We need to get the hackers back to robotics. We need people doing wacky things at home.

Robotic dog walker? Lawn mower? Security Guard? Tour Guide?

Some work done on the robot

I took some staycation time, and while most of it was spent camping, some of it was spent resurrecting the robot. (Pictures and video to come!)

Interesting changes:
Replaced el cheapo plastic wheels with more industrial rubber tread wheels.
Removed mechanical hard disk and replaced it with a 4G CompactFlash disk.
Removed NetGear WAP and replaced it with PCI wireless card.
Added a 256M dimm to bring up the memory to 512M.
Updated the operating system to Ubuntu Linux Server 10.04
Refactored source code to work more closely with Phoenix.


Is there anybody out there

The robot has been a sad pile of dusty obsoleting computer parts. Anyone have any ideas?

Authentication and approval required to post coments

Sorry everybody, we've gotten some lowlife spammer/scammers trying to add bogus comments, because of this, posts need to be approved before they are visible.

I am sorry about this change, but its necessary.

Compact Flash / IDE

There are some interesting devices out there for about $20 that allow you to use a common Compact Flash card as an IDE hard disk. I am thinking of using this as a storage device as it will consume less power and be more shock and vibration resistant.


Source code has been moved to Mohawksoft.Org's CVS repository.

Velleman K8055 USB Data Acquisition card has replaced the K8000 I2C card.

As part of the implementation of the K8055 interface, a usbdevice object was added to the standard devices.

A networked joystick interface has been added. The robot program implements a "netstick" client and the program "joysend" implements a netstick sender. It has currently been tested using a Logitech Dual Action joystick and seems to work. There is a keep alive pulse which, if lost, will cause the robot to hard stop.

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