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ROVer Robot: Lesson 1a: Turning. Sorting out ROVer’s Primary Servo Motors to Enable Turning

Last time, we learned that differential turning was going to prove difficult with ROVer’s wide stance & wheel base. Fortunately,¬†ROVer’s design has some possible solutions already built-in.

First, by narrowing and shortening his wheelbase, as we saw [partially] in the most recent episode here, we can reduce the friction and the torque required to perform a differential turn. To get ROVer into that orientation, however, we would either need to rearrange his motors and wheels/tires, or enable his servos… lets enable the servos.

ROVer Robot: He takes his first steps. Sensor & Motor Bugs Squashed… ROVer rolls!

Today is the day. ROVer, finally, takes his first steps. Baby steps, but steps nonetheless.

Yesterday you¬†probably could sense my frustration and disappointment in not being able to deliver on my promise to have ROVer roll. After mounting the new, replacement, Arduino MEGA ADK board ROVer and I were faced with a few bugs that were going to take hours to figure-out… it was too late to even begin to attempt. This morning, however…


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ROVer Robot: Long day for ROVer and me… …but we did get the new Arduino MEGA ADK!

Yesterday’s exploration of solar array mounting options felt great… but I started to rethink everything overnight for one really big, and what should have been obvious reason… I completely forget about the Android tablet, again… ROVer’s brain… yeah, I forgot about his brain.

I’m not yet sure how to go about mounting the tablet, but that, obviously, needs to take priority over the mounting of the solar panels.

Today was also the day to expect the delivery of the replacement Arduino MEGA ADK board and we get it mounted and do everything humanly possible to get ROVer wired back up so that he can test out those tires… finally!

ROVer Robot: Mounting ROVer’s Solar Panel Array… oh the options!

I’ve been looking forward to this step, but I really thought it would wait for after he was rolling around. Of course, with my explosive end to the Arduino MEGA ADK board yesterday, it gave me the excuse to break open the Makeblock parts and see what it was that I had ordered 2 years ago.

Well, let me tell you… my 2-year-ago-self had thought about this a little bit. The parts are great… on, and I love the colors! Yes… the colors matter too :p


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ROVer Robot: I Blew Up the Arduino MEGA ADK board… but there’s some good news too!

I really should have known better. Actually, I literally did know better; I did a video on it a few weeks back, but I was somehow distracted or otherwise excited at the prospect of getting ROVer on to his tires today and I connected the batteries to the UNO, rather than the MEGA ADK board.

You may recall that ROVer is wired such that the Arduino MEGA is the primary (controller/master) board and the UNO is the so-called slave. Consequently, the power from the batteries should come to the MEGA first and then be shared through to the UNO. When I got it backwards today, I was informed how wrong that was with a loud POP! …I literally saw smoke emanating from ROVer. I very quickly pulled all the plugs, but it was too late.

The UNO board still functions… I tested it thoroughly, but the ADK board is shot. I’ve placed an order for a replacement, but unfortunately it means that I’ve got to work on other stuff in the meantime and ROVer must, yet again, wait patiently on me before he can take his “first steps”.

I do have other exciting news though…