My brain is a muddle with so many things I want to start and finish so I’ve been writing my priorities down for my robotics endeavours in 2009. I thought I’d share them since progress in all will be documented in this blog.
- Blog more! I’ve got lots of things going on in my head and I really must capture them – for my own good over anything else. I’ve also got a notebook so I shall summarise progress and thoughts from that on this site.
- Get my robot arm up and running. This breaks down into several areas:
It will be based on 3 stepper motors (1 unipolar, 2 bipolar) and a servo or two for the grip. I’ve sorted the unipolar, I know how to do the bipolar (I found a half written blog post about it!) and just need to implement it, and then there’s the servos.
I bought a serial controlled (proper rs232 and everything) Pololu 8 channel servo controller just before I had my long break. I want to get that working from a PC. This will also supply pass-through TTL to my other (home made) controllers. I need to learn how to program it. I ultimately want the arm connected to my linux server and controlled over the web! I’ve learned how to go from PHP to scripts so it’s just a matter of tinkering.
Next is the mechanical side of things. I need to design the pieces and cut them out of my acrylic sheet. The design is a big nebulous at the moment so I’m a little concerned about doing a decent job.
Putting it all together!
- Get hold of an Arduino to have a play. These seem cheap, well put together, well documented, open source, and with a vibrant community. They also seem like a handy tool for generating voltages, doing data acquisition tasks, etc. I wanted to write a table of the various microcontrollers and their relative merits. If I did then this baby would do very well in most categories. If you’re reading this and just starting out with hardware control and microcontrollers then it’s a good first port of call.
- Other stuff. I have the odd idea which sounds simple but would probably take all year. Such as… building a GPS logger for my car. I’m just intrigued to see a year’s worth of driving overlaid on Google maps or similar!