New PARTS Group Project

After a long hiatus on group projects, we are starting up a new project to build smart servos, based on modified hobby RC servos.  The basic idea is to make a PCB with a microcontroller and some motor drivers to fit into a standard sized hobby servo.  We might even try to fit into a mini servo case as well.  We hope to add continuous rotation and position sensing via AMS magnetic position encoders, but those features may come on a later revision of the board.  If you are interested in participating in this project,  go to the Servo Project Brainstorming page and start adding your ideas and comments.

Mouse Sensor Board Build (3/3/2012)

What: Build up some optical mouse sensor boards using the ADNS-2620 sensor described in this previous blog entry.
This will involve some hot-plate reflow soldering using stencils and solder paste, some through-hole soldering, and testing.
There are only 9 surface mount parts and 3 through-hole parts, so this is a relatively simple build.

When: During the normal March PARTS meeting (3/3/2012)
Meeting starts at 10:30am; we’ll probably start building at 11 or 11:30am after a short presentation and show-n-tell

Who: You!  But, we’re limited to only 12 boards + a couple extra.  First come first serve.

Cost: $7

Bring:

  • A small desk lamp is very helpful
  • Magnification is very helpful (the smallest parts are 0603)
  • We could use a couple more soldering iron stations, power cords, and power strips
  • An Ardunio, if you have one, for testing out your sensor.  We’ll have an Arduino or two set up for testing as well.
  • A 4-pin 0.1″ jumper cable to connect the female 4-pin 0.1″ spaced square-pin header on the OptiMouse board to your Arduino

 

Details:
Schematic, layout and BOM here:
ADNX_26XX_Breakout_A_2_boardBuild
(PDF)

Eagle files:
ADNS_26XX_Breakout_A_2 (zip)

See you there!

Monty

BrushBot board build Monday 1/10

There’s still a number of BrushBotComm boards that people want to build up, and at Saturday’s meeting we decided to try for a somewhat impromptu board build at this Monday’s (1/10) group project meeting.  I realize this is short notice, but at the meeting enough people expressed interest to make it worthwhile.  We can have another small build session later for those who can’t make it.

Scott’s bringing the hot-plate reflow system and I’m bringing the parts.  You bring whatever parts you might have already gotten from me, some magnifying device if needed, a soldering iron (if you have one) and some cash if you haven’t paid for parts yet.

We’ll be at the bRainSilo:
bRainSilo.  7pm.
http://brainsilo.org/wiki/Location

See you there!

Monty

Bot Build Night Oct 18

A small group of us have been regularly getting together every other Monday night at the bRainSilo to work on swarm bots.  We’d love to have more people come join us — especially if you built one of the BrushBotComm boards a while back!  We’re at the point where we have bidirectional IR comm code working and want to try it out w/ larger swarms.

This get together is not just about swarm bots though — rather than toiling away alone in the basement on that killer new robot, why not bring it down and work on it in the company of other robot enthusiasts?

7pm, bRainSilo: http://brainsilo.org/wiki/Location

Hope to see you there!

Monty

Bot Build night Aug 9

We’ve been getting together every other Monday night at the silo to work on group projects, but really what we want to see is more robots being built, be it by individuals or groups.  So even if you’re not interested in the current swarm robot project, feel free to bring your own robot-to-be on down to share in the excitement of mashing together mechanical bits, hard bits, and soft bits to do cool stuff.

And if you DO have brushbots, bring them down and let’s get them talking!

7pm, bRainSilo:
http://brainsilo.org/wiki/Location

Hope to see you there!

Monty

Project meeting July 12

Last time Scott and I got four or five BrushBots running around in an arena with comm boards attached — one configured as a transmitter and the others as receivers. We only had simple RX and TX code running, but the receivers were picking up messages quite frequently; much better than we were expecting, actually.
But just five bots isn’t too exciting. It’s time to get a bigger swarm together and develop better message passing code! Bring your brushbots, bring your comm boards and let’s swarm!

While Scott and I hearded bots around, Tim got his steering control of the brushbots (a homemade toothbrush-head based bot in his case) working. The really cool thing is that he’s only using a single vibrating motor, yet still getting steerability! Come on Tim… Hurry up and upload the details on how you’re doing this!

Hope to see you all tonight,

7pm, bRainSilo:
http://brainsilo.org/wiki/Location

Monty