Monday, July 28, 2008

One of Jim's Robots

Here's a clip of Jim's AWESOME WORK!!!!!!

Jim's Southern R2 Builders Meeting

We had a GREAT time at the meeting this weekend.
Here are some of the pics and the rest of the pics will be
on Brenda's R3-T7 Blog.
The bottom pic is of Brenda and her R3 in the Hotel.
The next 2 pics are of Keith's Lifeform Scanner and his Periscope.
Next shows Doug's R2, Which is built like a tank!!!
Next shows a couple of pics showing parts and Darth Vader.
Last but not least, A pic of Keith and I standing at Toys R Us waiting
for the 12:00 bell to get the new Giant Falcon.
Check out Brenda's blog for more.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

R2's Brain

The Intel Atom Motherboard arrived today!!!
Now all I need is memory, hard drive etc.
I'm taking the board, my code, and Brenda's R3-T7 to the Southern Builders
meet this weekend in Clearwater, Florida.
I can't wait to get the board installed in R2, But it may be awhile
before this happens. I want to set it up and complete the code before
I install everything, This will make it easier to change things.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Video Update

**** Warning Large Video File ****
This video may help explain the direction I'm going with the code, computer and Phidgets. It shows what I have so far.
Once I get all the Phidgets I'll need and the other parts for the computer,
I should be able to start wiring R2 and finally have him moving.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Intel D945GCLF Little Falls Mainboard

Just ordered my motherboard for R2.
I was going to purchase another board, But this one has many new features
and the power consumption is suppose to be lower than the other board.
This will run all the Phidgets in R2 along with video, sound and etc.
Hopefully I'm not getting into something that will drain the batteries
down quickly, But I figure since it's 1 board instead of multiple electronics
for various features, It should do better.
Here's a pic of the board:

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Parts Estimate

Here's a small summary of parts and prices:
Visual C# - free from Microsoft
Phidgets Manager - free from Phidgets
Windows Xp Upgrade - $89.00

3- 4 Servo Phidgets controllers w/Servos - $ 347.94 plus Shipping
1- Intel D201GLY2A - 77.00 plus Shipping
1- 1 Gig Memory - 32.00 plus Shipping
1- Power cable - 7.00 plus Shipping
1- M1-ATX Power supply - 69.00 plus Shipping
1- FDM40XDI4G Memory to replace hard drive - 98.00 plus Shipping
1- Syren10 motor controller - 49.00
1- Sabertooth 2X25 dual motor controller - 124.99
2- Scooter motors - ?
1- Dome motor - ?

Current Total $893.93 without shipping.
Now I know this seems like alot of money, But if you take into account
this system does allmost everything and has the ability to go much further
with Autonomous features it balances out the price.
Once I get everything complete and installed I'll go over the total cost comparison.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Updated Summary

I know more of the same as far as post go,
But here's where I stand now.

Joystick #1 - controls the drive feet
Joystick #2 - controls the dome rotation
Button # 5/1 - controls R2 beeping sound
Button # 5/2 - controls Look Sir Droids sound
Button # 5/3 - controls R2 Scream sound
Button # 5/4 - controls Leia Speech sound
Button # 7/1 - controls My personal R2 Intro music
Button # 7/2 - controls Star Wars Theme music
Button # 9 - controls Volume up
Button # 10 - controls Volume down

As the code grows I'm learning more and more about what I can do with code.
So far I'm extremely happy about the setup and will order my new Phidget controller
tomorrow. As I said before, This was my original idea of using Phidgets in R2.
But I was unsure if I could do it. I've been VERY lucky to have had help with the code and working with it I've learned much more than I would have if I were just working out of the books.
The bigger value to this setup is:
Reducing the cost of buying seperate electronics for each feature needed to get R2 moving. Most builders use standard R/C remotes and add sound boards and other electronics to aquire the same results which can up money very quickly.
Nothing wrong with that, But I like to keep the money in my pocket.
Once this code is complete, I will add it to the R2 Builders group for everyone
to enjoy. It will include all the sounds and all the features I can come up with
to make the code a easy setup.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Sound code

I got the sound code setup for the gamepad.
Just as I hoped it would work,
I hold down the top side button which is button 5
and then I press button 1 and this plays a certain R2 beep.
If I hold down the lower side button which is button 7
and press button 1, Now the same button 1 plays my R2 intro.
When I use button 1 by itself it controls a servo.
This gives me more buttons than I could ask from my gamepad.
If everything goes as planned, I should have this code complete soon.
The only thing slowing me down now is parts I need to complete this package.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

More Code

Not much to post lately, But I'm still at my code.
The 1st 4 Servo Phidget code is complete and now I'm working
on the sound files to work with the gamepad.
My idea is to hold 1 of the top side buttons and press 1 of the 4
top buttons and this will give me my song jingles.
If I hold 1 of the lower side buttons and press 1 of the 4
top buttons, This will give me my R2 beeps.
The code is growing and I need more Phidgets to get the other servos going.
Once it's a complete code I will release it to the group and if someone
wants to go the computer route, It will all be preprogrammed and all they
will have to do is buy parts and maybe customize the code.
More to come.