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The Pneuma-Snatcher

The Pneuma-Snatcher is a very ugly robot based on the very nice looking Snatcher, designed by Laurens Valk. I used the two valve kits that Mindsensors sent to me a week or so ago.  They work very well for controlling the pneumatic valves.  If you hook them up to the NXTServo controller, you end up with a very nice way ... Read More »

I2C on the VEX Cortex

The VEX Cortex is a nice platform made by VEX Robotics. It is supported in two programming environments, one of which is ROBOTC. Much to my dismay, the master firmware does not support I2C, which is why ROBOTC does not support it. I don’t really like it when someone tells me I can’t do something, so I went ahead and ... Read More »

Bit Banged I2C Master on ROBOTC for Arduino

After spending two hours working on the changelog for the upcoming release of my driver suite, I thought I’d go play with something that was a bit more fun. I’m part of the ROBOTC for Arduino test group, which has been a lot of fun. The Arduino build does not have I2C support in the firmware yet, so I was ... Read More »

ROBOTC: Using the NXT 2.0 Colour Sensor as a Light Sensor

Using the NXT 2.0 Colour Sensor as an old fashioned NXT 1.0 Light Sensor as very simple in NXT-G but a little more involved in ROBOTC. The old Light Sensor uses a small red LED to illuminate the target and a small sensor to see how much was reflected. The new colour sensor can be used in a very similar ... Read More »

ROBOTC: Using the NXT 2.0 Colour Sensor

So you just bought yourself one of the NXT 2.0 Colour Sensors and you’re keen to get started with it. You browse through the example programs that are shipped with ROBOTC and open the “ColorSensor.c” program. “300 lines of code to read a simple colour?” you ask yourself. Fear not, it’s a lot easier than that. In order to use ... Read More »

Communicating with the NXTBee

So I’ve had these Dexter Industries NXTBees for about two weeks now and I’ve been working hard to come up with something cool.  Even before I received these NXTBees I spoke with John from DI about sending telemetry data from one NXT to another over a distance using these sensors. One of the potentially biggest data volume generating sensors I ... Read More »

ROBOTC for CORTEX & PIC 2.31 released

The fine folks at the Robotics Academy have released a new version of ROBOTC for the Cortex and PIC.  There are quite a number of changes: Updated new Master Firmware for VEX Cortex Fixed “Cannot find firmware file” download error. Additional Integrity Checks on Firmware Downloading & qualifiers are now accepted on structure elements. Improved robustness for communicating with Cortex ... Read More »

Programming Robots in Virtual Worlds

Original article here: [LINK]. Carnegie Mellon will release a fully working, downloadable “Technical Demonstration” of their new Robot Virtual World (RVW) programming tool to the world on February 9, 2011. The first world takes students to planet H99 where they will be able to program their robots using feedback from encoders, sonar, and compass sensors. The RVW project is designed ... Read More »

NXTBee Initial Test

Just uploaded a quick video of the initial test done with the Dexter Industries NXTBee. It’s the same program Dexter Industries used in their flag waving video. It’s really cool to have the wireless connection without all the stupid hoops you have to jump through to do a bidirectional connection in BT. Much more to come soon; I have a ... Read More »

A Smoother LineLeader

Sometimes even the greatest leaders need a little help.  This is also true of the Mindsensors LineLeader sensor. I’ve been working on maze solving robot and noticed that the robot’s state engine would sometimes be triggered by transient readings from the sensor. It would suddenly think that a crossing was detected and swerve to the right or left. Rather than ... Read More »