App Notes - Bonus Projects and Extra Goodies
These are free app notes (app stands for application) on all things robotics. Note: Some of the app notes refer to chapters and content in the books Robot Builder's Bonanza and Arduino Robot Bonanza, available in print or eBook form from Amazon and others.
- More Experiments with Servo Objects - Learn more about how to use the Servo object to control radio control servo motors, including, using the attach and detach methods, and controlling servos using microsecond accuracy.
- The Chip Only Arduino - Ideas on using the Atmel ATmega IC to make a "chip only" Arduino (an Arduino using only the microcontroller IC, without the full development board).
- Operating Two Servos with the Arduino - All about running two servos at a time using the Arduino. It's easy when using the standard Servo library. Includes a discussion of operating the servos from their own power supply.
- Battery Size Comparison - Comparison chart of the different sizes and typical weights of standard (and some not-so-standard) batteries.
- Comparing Pack Voltages of Batteries - Handy comparison chart of pack voltages of batteries, 1.2, 1.5, and 2 volts-per-cell. Chart lists packs with 2 to 12 battery cells.
- Best Battery Wiring Practices - Tips and tricks for good wiring when working with batteries. Short and sweet.
- Battery Care - Common-sense guidelines for keeping your batteries in top shape.
- Battery Pack Bridging Voltages - How to bridge a cell pocket in a battery holder to create "in-between" pack voltages (example: 4.5 volts when using a 4-cell battery holder and 1.5 volts-per-cell batteries).
- Build a Double-Decker RoverBot - Full constructions plans for building a two-deck roverbot, powered by twin R/C servo motors.
- The Clapper Gripper - How to build a simple "clapper-style" robotic gripper using a solenoid for actuation.
- Construct a Wormgear Gripper - Construction details for building a two-finger gripper, using a novel wormgear mechanism. The wormgear is constructed using plastic or metal gears and an ordinary machine screw.
- Flexible Finger Grippers - Basic design concept for building multi-joint gingers using flexible linkages.
- Build a 12-Servo Hexapod - Full construction plans on building the Hex12Bot, a 12-server walking hexapod robot. The plans use the XY joints described in Chapter 27 of RBB4.
- Step-by-Step: Soldering a Barrel Plug onto a Battery Holder or DC Wall Transformer - How to solder a barrel plug connector on a battery pack or DC wall transformer.
- Experiments in Quadrature Encoders - How to use a quadrature encoder to measure distance and direction of travel. Includes working Arduino code.
- Making Pin Jumpers - How to make pin jumpers for easy breadboarding of larger parts (like speakers and switches), and for constructing your own long-lasting jumpers using stranded wire.
- Controlling a Servo Via an LM555 Timer IC - How to use an LM555 timer IC to build a simple servo tester circuit.
- More and More Motor Bridges - How to use various bridge circuits to operate the motors on your robot.
- Shape Memory Alloy Actuation with LM555 Timer IC - Using an LM555 timer IC to control the actuation of shape memory alloy (SMA) wire.
- Switching Voltage Regulation - Basic circuit for constructing a switching voltage regulator using a Maxim MAX738 IC.
- All About LED Brightness - How the type and construction of light emitting diodes (LEDs) affect their apparent brightness.
- Robotic Arm Position Control - Ways to determine the position of joints in a robotic arm or wrist. Includes using potentiometers and optical or mechanical encoders.
- The Basics of Circuit Making - Quick introducing to the five most common methods of making electronic circuits.
- Etching Your Own Printed Circuit Board - Crash course in etching your own printed circuit boards (PCBs).
- Stupid Sound Tricks for Your Robot - Over a half-dozen methods for making and controlling sound for your robot.
- Understanding Capacitor Markings - All a bout how capacitors are marked -- value, working voltage, polarity, and tolerance.
- Stupid Light Tricks - Using electroluminescent wire, lasers fiber optics, and other techniques to "dress up" your robot with light.
- Control by Radio Signal - Methods of remotely controlling and communicating with your robot using radio signals. Includes a rundown of 802.11 WiFi, Bluetooth, and ZigBee standards.
- Stocking Up on Electronic Parts - The basic parts you need, and the quantities you should have, for general robot building.
- Logic Probes 101 - Introduction to the logic probe: what they are, and how they're used.
- Using Flexible Power Trains Instead of Gears - Review of using flexible power train components (belts, pulleys, chains, and sprockets) instead of gears to transform motion from one place to another.
- Understanding Bitwise Port Programming - Introduction to programming using 8-bit (or larger) ports, and how to manipulate the individual pins of the port.
- Using Bitwise Operators - How to use bitwise operators in programming to manipulate the individual bits of a port or numeric value.
- Combining Data Types in a Variable - How to use (and the limitations of) different data types in a single variable.
- Understanding Data and Port Registers - Quick introduction to data and port registers on the typical microcontroller, and how they affect operation.
- Special Microcontroller Functions - Overview of special microcontroller functions you are likely to encounter, such as hardware interrupts, switch debouncer, and input pullups.
- Managing the Weight of Your Robot - All about weight and weight distribution in robot design. Includes ideas on how to put your overweight robot on a crash diet.
- No Casters at All: Using Camber for Self-Balancing Robots - How to use wheel camber to enhance your robot's ability to maintain static balance.
- Tips on Constructing Large Bases - How to ensure you select the right components for use in larger and heavier robots.
- The Tracked Bot Vs 6WD - Pros, cons, and differences between building a tracked robot versus a 4WD or 6WD robot.
- What About Rivets - How (and when) to use rivet construction in your robot creations.
- Plastics in Everyday Household Articles - Review of the plastic materials used in everyday household items. Useful when repurposing plastic for your robot creations. Includes a chart for decoding plastic ID symbols.
- Touch Sensitivity with Laser Fiber 'Whiskers' - How to construct a set of super-sensitive "soft contact" whiskers using a pen laser and inexpensive optical fibers.
- Using Passive Infrared Detection - How to detect humans, animals, and moving objects using passive infrared (PIR) sensors. Includes details on using ready-made PIR sensors, plus hacking an outdoor security light. Includes sample Arduino code.
- Build a Piezo Disc Touch Bar - Full construction details on making a semi-compliant touch bumper using ordinary piezo discs and an length of round aluminum rod. Included sample Arduino code.
- Using Lenses and Filters with Light-Sensitive Sensors - All about using lenses and filters to improve the performance of light-sensitive sensors, such as photoresistors and phototransistors.
- A Trio of Robotic Navigational Sensors - Introduction to three handy navigational sensors for robots: global positioning satellite (GPS), radio frequency identification (RFID), and inertial navigation with gyroscopes.