Posts Tagged ‘Robots’

For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotics has changed the lives of millions of children from elementary through high school. It brings the message that science and technology is fun.  This hour long special on ABC features the 2011 FIRST World Championship, better know as the “Super Bowl of Smarts”, in St. Louis, Missouri. Singer and songwriter will.I.am stepped up this past year to make FIRST loud. The event in St. Louis featured a concert by the Black Eyed Peas as well as a presence from major technology companies. Dean Kamen, founder of FIRST said this was the one sporting event where every child can go professional.

I personally attended this event along with several MCPs. I believe very strongly in the program and I am happy to say that I coach a team!

Don’t miss this special event on ABC and look for ways you can support FIRST Robotics in your community! For more information how you can get involved check out usfirst.org

So I have been working on the Beagle and while it compiles I cant help but continue to play with some electronics. I have finished constructing (and basic electrical testing). This is built off of  1 Launch Pad, 2 linear power regulators and a Sharp IR distance sensor. I have a dual motor gearbox (taken from the myDAQ bot) and a battery box to provide power and locomotion.

The photo here is just the electronics (and a wiring mess). I have some work to do still with respect to programming, but it does generate the required signals to move. I will be posting a schematic with the video later this week. (Following the NXShield video.)  I will mount the Launch Pad better when I add the motor and battery pack. Let me know what you think!

As most of you know, I work at National Instruments! Besides being an awesome place to work, sometimes they like to do internal competitions. This summer the challenge is to create something using the NI myDAQ. NI ran a similar challenge last year and some of the results can be seen in the myDAQ Zone.

I teamed up with another intern, Scott, and we decided to make a robot. Working under a $25 budget, we decided to engineer a robot from some spare parts most people have at home. Using a L293, some duct tape, LEGO wheels (you knew I was going to slip LEGO in somewhere), a hobby motor and gear box, and a box. Using some super glue we stuck most of the parts together. As you can see from the picture we even used a soda can (we recycle at NI) to act as a skid.

We wanted to keep this project “college themed” we “dead bug” soldered the wires to the L293. To keep the myDAQ safe, we put it inside the box. However we still wanted to use the myDAQ and cut a hole in the side to we can still use the DMM. The project uses only 4 digital I/O ports to interface with the L293. The myDAQ uses USB power. To get around this, we have a small battery box to provide the current needed to the motors. Building instructions and pictures will be posted after the competition is complete.

Since the project isn’t due for a few more days, Scott and I plan to add some lights and additional sensors. The myDAQ has the full power of LabVIEW and as a result we can do some cool things. For example, our robot will have a web interface and use my netbook’s camera to navigate. Using the LabVIEW web publishing tool, other employees at NI will be able to log on and control the bot!

Check back later for a video and more pictures! This project has been a blast! For more information on the myDAQ and LabVIEW, check out ni.com.