Make things smarter
August 10, 2010 1 Comment
Couple of days ago I saw my wife was cleaning up my son toys. One of my son’s favorite toys is remote controller toys. One of them is a robot toy I bought in China few years ago. The other one is R/C car. Of course now all are broken.
Suddenly just a cross in my mind to keep these R/C toys. I don’t know what is my plan with them but I asked my wife I wanna keep them. So my wife kept what I need and through away the rest.
Couple days later I did some googling and found something very interesting. I found Arduino! Not really just found it. I’ve heard these brilliant this kind of open hardware projects few years ago.
Arduino is an open-source electronic prototyping platform. It has a ‘brain’ or micro controller, you can program it as you needed. It can sense, receive inputs, and interact to other devices. To me I can create almost anything with it.
With some more googling, I found useful resources that I can start with. I bought Arduino Duemilanove with ATMega 328 microcontroller, also the mini version of it for my play and test. I also bought some additional electronic parts to build my first project. I use L293D motor driver to control the motors. There are two motors one in the front to turn left and right, the other one on the back to move forward or backward.
Watch the video below how it moves. In this video I have not add any sensors, just move forward or backward and turn left or right. Not bad at all for first project.
Below are some resources I use for Arduino projects:
- arduino.cc is useful and complete arduino resources, sample projects, forum for arduino.
- makershed.com is one of how to sites with lot of others who already played with arduino.
- instructables.com is another how to sites.
- luckylarry this blog is good for reference.
- indorobotika.com is where I bought arduino stuffs on reasonable price.
I have very little knowledge with electronics. It is really experimental works, trial and error project. Thanks to internet that make everything available what you need. With a bit patients, trials, found errors, fix them, little adjustment here and there.
After few days with some over-midnight-works finally the first version of my first robot is done. The broken R/C car is now become my new toys (and my son of course). I transformed the broken R/C car into an object avoiding robot. Accidentally this become my new weekend project.
My son and his friends are so exited with it. He played with his-still-working R/C car with the robot. He call the robot Ardoo. I plan to do further development to Ardoo; to add more sense and capabilities, and intelligence, and so on. I will share with you how I make it.