I've been quiet the last few weeks getting a few urgent things out the way, one of which was getting MrDotBoto complete from a build point of view... Well, I'm pleased to report that MrDotBoto had its first run today!
Now, there are a few things to note! Firstly, the bottom (pic below) has got a fair bit going on (just like my dress style). The two Venom batteries are mounted on the underside, as is the Serializer.NET board and the 80GB hard disk. And the motors off course 😉
On the top (pic below) is the Mini-ITX board from MEDC. The whole thing is fully powered independently now, so no need for the umbilical cords for mains power and laptop control. Now all I do is Terminal Services into it via it's wireless connection, and run the command programs from MrDotBoto.
So what's next? Well, I realized today I have a slight problem with turning, on account that the wheels are quite big and the distance between wheels on the turning side is too small, making it hard for MrDotBoto to do smooth turning (like a tank track system would). My options are:
1. Implement a track system similar to a tank (too hard)
2. Make the tyres thinner and less tacky (no fun)
3. Implement a steering system (oh yeah!)
So I'll be looking into replacing my custom front free-wheel mounts (I had to make them out of some tap washers and screws...nasty) with a standard R/C car setup, and hook up the steering Servo motor to the Serializer.NET board to control the turning. This will be an excellent example of a more sophisticated turning process than just using a multiplier action (when you say Power x Wheel Direction; so +1Left and +1Right is forward, +1Left and -1Right is left turn).
Also, I'm going to be getting some webcasts together now to start capturing what I've been doing, and what I'm going to be doing, so that people can keep track of MrDotBoto's progress. If anyone is interested in building their own .NET Robot, drop me a line, I'm happy to share all my info and lessons learnt 🙂