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Big Update! New Features & A New Name.

Posted by & filed under Arduino, Hexbug Spider, Joystick Shield, PFI-Arduino, xbee.

It has been so long since I wrote an update on my little robot! That is not to say that I have not been working on it – I have been putting in a bit of time each week, which has been fun (and of course frustrating at times!). My focus has been designing a chassis(learning how to sculpt these weird materials), and trying to figure out how to get the XBees to do my bidding. I am happy to announce that I have sorted a lot out, and I have a new revision of the robot to show you! Yay! More detail after the break!



I changed the name of the robot to Spiduino, as I was reading an issue of Make magazine, and they had a little bot called Spazzie in it. Plus, I think Spiduino sounds cooler, hehe!

The most obvious change those of you who have been watching this stuff will notice is the new stuff going on on his head. Since my mini update, I have soldered everything onto a perf board, and carved a simple chassis out of styrofoam which holds everything in place fits over the hexbug pretty snugly. You will see the new sensor I mentioned in my last post poking out of the front. Not quite as cute as the IR rangefinder which looked like eyeballs, but it takes much more practical readings which I can convert to inches. I prefer this to the somewhat odd readings returned by the Sharp IR sensor.

He also has some new feet made of this amazing stuff called Sugru – check it out, it’s magical. I still want to make some more biologically inspired ones, but this will do for now.

The biggest change, which I spend the most time on was using XBee to allow communication between the robot and my joystick via XBee. It has been really challenging, but also really rewarding learning about how XBee works, and I am going to share my findings once they are really solid. Basically, the way it works is so simple, that it was actually kind of confusing to me. I will save that for another post though. I hope you liked the video, and let me know what you guys think!

Some recent shots


Here he is, minus his classy new feet.

Here are the Sugru feet!

3 Responses to “Big Update! New Features & A New Name.”

  1. Mukund Srivastava

    Hi,

    I do have a request from you..
    I m here at USA for 3 months and while roaming in a store I saw ‘mini robot’ and other descriptions written on the product. I came back to my appartment and I opened you website to know more about Hex Bugs… I really liked the concept you guys are tring to bring in next generation… I always wanted to be a robotics engineer… but its hard to learn without any teacher… so can you make some sort of game in which a guy can re program or modify and apply its own logic to learn something new on a kit and other material provided by you as an study and practical material…

    And last I saw Hex Bug is available in USA and 2 other major countries…Please make it available to India also…Its a huge request and I m sure you will find a HUGE POSITIVE responce from Indian Market…

    Thanks for educating our next generation with Robotics…!!!

    Reply
    • admin

      Hi there Mukund,

      Thank you for your reply. Just to clarify, I am not associated with the company that makes the Hexbug robots.

      I just really liked the design and when I learned to use the Arduino, I set out to combine the two. Like you, I have always loved robots but I am not an engineer. That is why the Arduino/Hexbug combination is perfect for me! I can reprogram it, and add sensors or other actuators to it very easily (thanks to Arduino). There is a great online community around Arduino, which helped me a lot getting started!

      You should check out http://arduino.cc/ , the official Arduino website, where you can learn about what it is. It is open source, so you can download the software for free, and you can even build your own Arduino! It is possible to make one for a very low cost(just a few dollars), but I have not tried yet. There is an Instructable about it.

      I wish you all the best!

      Reply

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