It sounds great in theory, but what about the practice? For some robotics enthusiasts a project such a robot able to detect and follow a line doesn’t count too much, while for some beginners such a project is the one that will never forget. For new initiates it’s the first profound step into robotics, and rightly so, it’s should be the best possible project.
Even you’re a maker with a lot of experience in robotics aiming to build the best possible follower robot or re-build the old one, even you’re a beginner without too much hours spending to solder wires and write code, in this article you can find five techniques applied for a line follower robot combined with different technologies and different ideas. All these techniques can be applied at home even is the first time when you use an Arduino microcontroller, as well as if you have to remove the dust from your old line-tracking robot.
In general, a line tracker bot is an autonomous robot designed to detect and follow a visual line painted or embedded on a particular surface, or an electric wire embedded in the floor. The goal of any maker is to engineer a robot able to keep the center of the line. Depending on different variables and technologies that go into the design, the robot can have different behaviors. Yes, this means the bot should have the right sensors and controller to put the robot into the right place.
To have a clear image over the methods and technologies used to build a tracker bot, in this article I explore five of the most common techniques together with the best ideas and implementations. (more…)
If you’re interested in playing games or studying the electronics and programming of real-world robot swarms, the Swarmbuddies units are now at your fingertips. These little customizable robots are engineered to follow your commands even its about dance choreography or you’re interesting to dig more in computer vision.
Any of the Swarmbuddy robots is an accessible platform that can be programmed via PC, controlled over Android or iOS devices, or just let you relax while they will dance on music or react to noises or movement captures with a microphone or a webcam.
In the latest years several other projects were released aiming to bring into the market the best robot kit able to recreate the nature of swarm behaviour exhibited by animals using plastic, metal and a limited quantity of intelligence. Back in 2012, University of Pennsylvania researchers creates a swarm of nano quadrotors able to fly in formation and react as a swarm at a simple stimulus. This year, in 2014, several other projects take shape in the labs of Disney Research Zurich with PIXELBOTS project designed to display colored forms with mobile pixels, or Harvard University with its termite drones engineered to work together to build different structures.
What Swarmbuddies can do for you!
The Swarmbuddies kit is far away to be compared with Lego Mindstorms kits, but even so, it could do more than this in some cases. Even you’re a young child or … an old child, even you’re an artist or a musician, a teacher or a thinker, the swarm robotic kit is a good choice to have several robot dancers to sync with the music or to react at different stimulus, you can become familiar with robots programming and electronics, as well as you can develop computer vision applications. (more…)
Crafted to give the best features for makers and hackers, any of the Raspberry Pi model A, B or B+ are microcomputers designed to be connected to high quality chargers with stable power delivery and able to provide an output of 5V with at least 700mAh.
As any other single board computer, the fruit-name board can be supplied with power from different sources. In this article, I explore three different solutions to power the board including the standard Mirco USB power supply, and continue with batteries and solar power.
Here comes the science
To choose the right power supply for a Raspberry Pi, you first needed to understand the recommends from the Raspberry Pi Foundation. The group of engineers that take part on the project makes the recommendation to use a Micro-USB power supply. More than that, the Micro-USB power source has to produce 1.2A (1,200mA) at 5V.
Let’s see why these values are just recommendations.
Why 5V and why 1.2A? The value of power consumption is directly proportional to the amount of power consumption of consumers connected to the board as well as features of the board. For example, at a standard level the Model A uses around 500mA, the B model uses between 700mA and 1,000mA, while the Model B+ was engineered with some improvements and has a 36% less power usage compared with the model B. (more…)
If you have a PC or a laptop, most probably both devices has inside an Intel processor. The same thing is also for tablets and smartphones. In general, the Intel brand is glued on a large amount of essential technologies that makes the information to move faster and humans more active.
Another field with the same logo and a bunch of technology. This time the Intel puts its name on a new version of its open-source development board engineered on the Arduino hardware and software. The Intel Galileo Gen 2 is now designed with improved features that makes it more capable for Galileo board enthusiasts.
The engineers work hardly to improve features and offer a better performance, improve the accessibility to peripheral devices and allow users to power the device over the ethernet, and redefine the single board computer for an increased control precision.
Released with the aim to be a good starting point for students, DIY electronics hobbyists and makers, the Intel Galileo Gen 2 is now designed based on the feedback from the user community. What they want and what they need most? The Galileo users want more GPIO’s, a variety of I/O interfaces and compatibility with Arduino UNO R3 shields, and more precise PWM signaling for better motor control.
The things evolve different from manufacturer to manufacturer, and sometimes takes years between products to see some improvements of the original product. This is the case of the Raspberry Pi Foundation who release a new version of the Raspberry Pi B called Raspberry Pi B+ or Raspberry Pi 2.
This new version comes with hardware improvements, a small single board computer that incorporates small improvements but with high impact over the community.
The price is the same (under $50), the size is the same, it runs the same software, and still has the 512MB RAM. But they come with a list of improved features including more GPIO’s, more USB ports, HD video output at 1080P, connections for RPi camera and a touch screen display separately, and a few other features that I will explore below. (more…)