Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sunday, November 02, 2008


I've been messing about with robotics for a few years now, and been generally... um.... ( ooh, awkward saying this ...) uh... disappointed with the overall results. I know there are some rabid robotics enthusiasts out there who think the idea of building a two wheeled vehicle that follows a flashlight is pretty damn cool. And it is. Well, kind of cool. Neat. Sort of. At first. Then the novelty wears off and I end up thinking - shouldn't this have been a) a hell of a lot easier to build and b) given me a little bit more reward for my efforts? I've spent weeks designing boards, soldering components, debugging, re-designing, giving up, starting over and then finally succeeding, only to end up thinking "meh".

Anyways, I was pretty happy today that it only took me the better part of an afternoon to build a remote controlled tank from an Arduino Decimilia, an AdaFruit motor shield and a Tonka bulldozer. I think there was sufficient effort for the results (i.e. - duplicating something I could buy for $20 at Zellers ) and there is sufficient potential to continue with experimenting on this. And if it gets boring? I pull the Arduino and the motor shield and do something else.

And to those that call me... umm... ( whatever - bite me! ), keep in mind I did my pointless hacking back in the 80's, when I spent the better part of a night teaching a Timex Sinclair to play "Three Blind Mice" by timing loops that generated specific frequencies that I could pick up on an AM radio.