Last Wednesday Artica lectured a Motoruino workshop at AltLab.
Beside all the participants there were more than a hundred watching a live stream on Ustream, people from Viseu, Guimarães, Porto, Évora, Madrid and many more places I believe.
The central theme was Motoruino and motors such as Servos, DC motors, Steppers and Linear actuators.
In the end we had Farrusco working in Obstacle Avoidance and Following Light mode.
Since the first SWARS experience, I knew this could go A LOT further, but having Farrusco on a remote terrace where you could only have access by climbing an outside ladder.. I must confess, I never thought of such a thing, until… my friend Fernando Mendes (Cowork_LX) came to me with this crazy idea!
I loved the challenge, and wanted since the first moment to create a cool and easy to use physical interface and it came out a nice piece IMHO.
Then Farrusco with the wireless cam already built in for the first “Driving Farrusco” experience, I used two packs of batteries to enhance the play time (one battery pack is missing in the photo). This small wireless camera needs a lot of juice, and a little 9v batteries doesn’t feed it for to long, besides that it gives a very weak transmission with lots of interference, but with this 9.6v racing pack, it worked out really good!
And finally the video:
Some bits around the controller:
At the beginning I wanted to have four joysticks, one for each motor, one for pan and the other for tilt the camera.
It ended a bit complicated to operate and a learning curve was needed to get used to it, because this was going to manipulated by many people it needed to be simple and fast to learn.
[ FOTO MISSING showing the end result with two joysticks, a motoruino only with the necessary components and the xbee mount ]
Four wheel drive vehicles have always excited my imagination, and this time I joined two Farrusco’s chassis in front to front as you can see in the picture below:
This way both chassis are fixed on each other (is this correct to say in english??) and I thought it would be cool to have them articulated in some way, so I started to design a ball link and this is the first output (oh, did I mention I have a 3D printer in the office? :D
It still need a bit of work because the link needs some kind of lock to prevent the vehicle to bend itself and touch the ground (gosh!! what a crappy english!!)
I used OpenSCAD to design the piece, it is a great tool to use because everything is made with simple commands and you can design pretty much everything!! You can download the OpenSCAD files in Thingiverse.
Farrusco is a small robot based on the Arduino platform, in this case, is using a Motoruino wich is inspired on the Arduino but with a couple of enhancements – dc motor dual controller, servo and sensor plugs.
With Farrusco you will be able to make it avoid obstacles, follow walls, enter in free space mode, and in the future more add-ons will be available, just to name a few: line follower, speakers and light sensors, RGB leds, and so on.
This robot is intended to:
– enthusiasts wishing to enter in the creative computing and robotics fields but don’t know where to start;
– engineering and physical computing students who need a development platform;
– digital artists and designers;
– students of all grades;
– be a simple toy.
The F2.5 version has a cleaner design, we are using two modified servos to work as DC motors as you can see in this tutorial, the motor driver is an ardumoto, and soon I will upload more photos with new addons.
Farrusco Junior is another iteration, he has two modified servos and a small chassis. The modified servos operate as normal servos but they rotate 360º continuously, and you can learn howto hack them watching this video tutorial (in portuguese).
This robot is still a work in progress, and I will upload new pics soon.