HAL no longer runs on batteries, but on the desire to rule over all organic life. But we still keep an extra battery pack handy. -Alex
We are using the 10 AA battery packs from the PiBorg DiddyBorg Robot Kit. We discussed using other power sources but decided since this was our first competition we would use what we had. As we got into testing we discovered that we were burning through a massive amount of batteries and figured out that the cost to sustain our pace would be greater than the cost of the robot itself so we decided to go to rechargeable batteries to cap our power cost. Moving forward with rechargeable batteries we discovered that at full charge they did not have the same output as premium off the shelf batteries. (Typically right at 13.8-14.0v fully charged vs. 15-16.5V for Energizers) We also discovered that the batteries drain quickly and once we the power pack dropped to 13.3/13.4v of output our robot didn't execute the code the same way as it became sluggish and sensor readings lagged. In the end we change the chargeable batteries often to keep the power inputs consistent. For competition we will be using off the shelf batteries that start with more power and drain much slower than the rechargeables.
World domination, here we come! -Alex
We only broke one sensor mount by smashing into things. So, I'd call that a success. -Alex
But the sensors are too high to get good readings off the walls.
So we flipped the cone upside down, and lowered the sensors. And by we, I mean Larry did it while I watched. -Alex
Now it has a HUGE forehead!!! Too bad FrankenBot is already taken cause now HAL looks the part.
PiBorg UltraBorg and Ultrasonic Sensors. Time to make this robot operate on it's own. Autonomous-ness here we come!
HAL's First Runs
I may have skipped a step or two when pairing the controller to the Pi, but it seems to work fine! Also, I came up with the name, so I'm pretty sure I get most of the credit for the things that work. -Alex
Early February 2017
Robot building tip: Make sure to tighten all of your screws. We forgot to do that, and were wondering why the robot was drifting to the side when it should have been going straight. -Alex
We decided we wanted to actually build our robot out of parts we found, instead of using a kit. So we "borrowed" some stuff from the DiddyBorg, and tore apart a bunch of computers in the lab. -Alex
Converting Metric to Imperial Units
Because dividing by 10 is too easy. -Alex
My boss is not too happy with our mess
Shout out to our new HackerSpace quartermaster! This table is now clean and super organized. She worked hard to clean up after us. -Alex
Late September 2016 to December 2016
Our application has been accepted...
Now we have to plan this endeavor...
Getting a team of Community College Students from Albuquerque NM to Cambridge UK for a robotics competition is an exciting and daunting task. Originally there were 18 students interested in the robotics competition. Over time this number dwindled to the 4 remaining student team members and me, their faculty adviser. We started out first throwing ideas up on the whiteboard, (This is common when I am involved...) about who could participate, how much it would cost to participate, how are we going to raise the money to participate, and so on and so forth. Paperwork was started, robots were played with, Raspberry Pi learning was happening, and plans were hatched as to how we were going to pull off this adventure. As our winter break approached, we decided to send the interested team members home with one of our 5 Dexter Industries GoPiGo robots or one of the 2 PiBorg DiddyBorg robots we have in the HackerSpace Lab to work on their individual skills. Oh, and this blog was planned, and... it is now March 22nd, 2017 and I am writing our first post in retrospect. For what it is worth we have been chronicling quite a bit of progress on my twitter page. @MyITInstructor Check it out if you are impatient. we will fill in the details here on the blog and tweet the blog post as we work diligently to complete this competition task!