|AV NOTE: The following pictures were
taken with my new Digital8 camcorder (DCR-TRV310), and digitized using "Snappy
8/19/99 Here's a side shot of Albert that shows some of
The back panels give me access to his battery and cables.
5/30/99 I always knew that I was going to
find a "cover" for Albert. At first I was planning to have a local
plastics company build me a square one out of plexiglas, but it would have looked, well, boxy.
Then I discovered a molded storage container that was almost the exact size I
needed. It was the perfect width, but a little too long, so I cut it down the
middle, slid one piece inside the other, and bolted the two halves together.
Unfortunately, the final result was too simplistic... Albert looked like a big toy cat or something.
I decided to try a different approach.
Probably somewhat inspired by all the recent Star Wars hoopla, I
opted for a well-used industrial look, using gray primer and some yellow decals I
made myself. Here's what Albert looks like now:
Albert in his new skin... with laptop hat.
3/28/99 The two shots below were taken
during a marathon robot building session at Christ Hostetler's apartment. He was
(once again) a tremendous help. The top picture shows the spring loaded front
caster, and the black and white pattern on the inside of the robot's left wheel is used by
the optical encoder. (An optical sensor near each wheel counts the changes from
black to white. I can use this number to measure how far Albert has moved.)
This picture also gives a good view of Albert's 12 amp/hour battery. It was mounted
near the back of the robot to take some of the weight off the front caster.
Chris used a silicone based glue to attach the sonar sensors
Here Chris is adding an LED near the HC11 power switch
3/16/99 This is the first picture with my
new camera and it's a little washed out... The original picture was a bit dark so I had to
crank up the brightness and lower the contrast. I'll use more light next time.
Eventually, I'm going to put together some kind of plastic or
rubber skin and lower it down over the four posts on top of the robot. Then I'll cut
out holes for the sonars and other sensors. (This scheme will make it very easy to
take the top on and off when I need to get to the laptop or other components.)
Chris Hostetler came up with a great idea for installing the cover.
He suggested lowering it over a single post in the middle. That way the
"skin" could 'turn' slightly, left or right when the robot bumps into
something. If I mount my two bump sensors properly I should get pretty good
collision sensor coverage.
More pictures coming soon...
Here's Albert next to my copy of "Mobile Robots"