Wishlist PC

I have been sorta thinking about getting a new pc.. but right now its all just in the dream phase and I shouldnt get one.. it would be very unnecessary and expensive now.

I think I need to get a camera like this one:

It runs on 8-9v so this should be perfect for the robot.. going to start looking @ openCV. I should be getting my parallax ping today or tomorrow in the mail.

Wireless Color 6 LEDs Infrared Spy Pinhole CCTV Camera - eBay (item 110264835598 end time Jun-27-08 02:30:00 PDT)


I am running into some issues with my wireless camera. When it is mounted on the robot, the Xbee module responds slowly and I am assuming is loosing packets and not getting a strong signal. I will run a test by outputting the alphabet to the robot and see if the robot can display all the characters. If the robot fails to receive the entire alphabet, then i know that there are dropped packets caused by the camera. The camera is a cheap ebay wireless security camera with night vision. I used to use it in my car from the 12v plug.. which brings up the issue of lack of power to run the camera on the robot.
My Power setup:
Currently I am using 6xAA Nimh batteries that have 2300mah of operating time. They will give me 8.75 volts. I am using a battery charging circuit I pulled off another robot. I need to get a smaller security cam that can run off of a 9v battery and has night vision and is wireless :P

Pyro TF2

I am really looking forward to the Pyro update on TF2. The pyro is my favorite class so this is great news. valve is introducing three new weapons for the pyro along with an air compressor option for the flame thrower that can blow back enemies and projectiles. Enough talking (@ work).. Here is the original link.

Team Fortress 2 - Pyro Update

Got my Robot to talk to my pc with a Xbee module and wrote a python script to control it with the WASD keys. The overall programming so far has been relatively simple. I am commanding one servo to move 45 degrees and 135 degrees (since one serve is flipped and 90 degrees is dead center). The code can be found here : Robot Work Dir.

Here is the latest video :D

On a personal note. My parents came up to to visit for father's day and it was pretty fun. We did a lot of shopping and saw Indiana Jones 3.

With some minor driver issues (I havent had driver issues in a loooong time) I was able to setup my usb xbee module I got from http://www.serialcontrols.com . Its a nice little usb Zigbee usb adapter that is just about as big as the Xbee itself. It was relatively easy getting the wireless serial link to the arduino.. no new software on the arduino end.. just the Xbee 'sheild' that I soldered tonight. I will post pics in a gallery soon.
I also built the scooterbot II I got from budgetrobotics.com
I should have a review of that soon.

My current goal is to have the robot be able to drive around via remote control over the internet via the Xbee module. There will be a wireless camera (already own) on the robot that can stream the current position of the robot to me via some sort of webcam interface (stickam maybe?). The in the near future, I will program object avoidance using the Parallax "Ping)))" module and the Ir sensor. Once the robot can avoid objects, I will let drive around autonomously and chase after IR.. like my dog.

Self charging is also a concern of mine. I am planning on building a self charging station that the robot can drive into. The robot will have protruding connectors to the battery circuitry and the garage will have something to make contact with these connectors. This should allow me to self charge relatively easily. I will probably drive the robot to the charging station at first, however I will need to create some sort of automated system to dock with the garage.

Parts List and Costs for my robot

I didnt buy the Ping ))) yet since I don't need it in development currently. Overall the robot is a little pricey but it will be a good learning experience and it will keep me busy during the weekends.

Today I bougt the first parts to my robot. I will post the specs later but i plan on having a remote controlled/ autonomously controlled robot that can roam around the house when i am gone and I can watch though its eyes via the wireless camera. I am thinking or putting on a little lcd screen so i can display text and the camera should have a microphone so there can be two way interaction. Maybe solar panels for self charging.. or some sort of self docking system ala roomba.

I made couscous with ground meat and tomatoe sauce and some peppers and onion and it was decent. Too much bellpepper I think. Couscous is sex though.
Started to watch some of "crank" but didnt like it so much. Saw The Onion movie thoug.. lolcity.

Thats all. should be going to bed for work tomorrow.



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