Wednesday, February 2, 2011

TOBL: Testing

Done with my first exam of the semester and feeling like it's time to get back to TOBL, however briefly. I still don't have a camera to record test footage but that may change soon. Until then, here is the little guy in his most primitive form a.k.a. being held together by two whole zip-ties.

Yup, two.

So far testing has been limited to some laps around the apartment, during which I have already broken yet another spline gear. Reassembling the HS-81 plastic gear servos has worked out well. One of the wheel gears was a little tight, but has since been fixed. So now the plastic gears should last longer than 10 minutes.

Since the servos were modified they don't center very well. I suspect this is because the resistors that replaced the potentiometer do not match exactly. However, I did trim them in software and even after wearing the battery down a bit the neutral point doesn't drift much. As often as I ramble about servos I've learned my lesson and my future projects will likely use motors, for drive purposes at least.

Speaking of future projects, my V1.1 XPWMShields are finally in. Somehow they were delivered twice? Go figure. I think the perfectly good V1.0 board will remain on TOBL as not to have wasted $33 and shipping. I'll be able to comment more on the functionality (namely wireless uploading!) once I get some new Nanos to test them.

On a side note, I've recently started working at the Micro Robotics Research Lab. I thought I was into making things on a small scale...not even close! This lab concentrates on MEMS, fabrication techniques, and small scale robotics in general. For example, one team is designing a similar wireless communications board to XPWMShield, except that the board is approximately 1cmx1cm! Very cool stuff. Technically I'm working there for a program I'm in, but we'll see what happens. As for TOBL I will try to acquire a camera asafp!


  1. That is awesome.

    I just got my shipment of 200 Arduino Nanos and boards for 2.007. Now we can make a whole fleet of TOBLs!

  2. That would be epic!..minus making 1200 standoffs. Maybe Charles can 3D print a TOBL?