Friday, November 23, 2012

Wiring up Bob the Robotic Head #hackfriday

No, I did not forgo Black Friday shopping altogether for Hack Friday (the new day which one spends hacking things together).  Shopping started at 7:30 Thanksgiving with a trip to Walmart and also some online shopping.

Hack Friday started a couple months ago buying a robotic head.  It comes with two servo motors and two electric motors.  About the same time I bought an Adafruit motor shield to control the head via an Arduino.  I have not had time to wire it up with other projects like the Cylon Pumpkin.  With Halloween over, I wanted to focus on the robot. Helping was receipt today of another Adafruit order from this past Sunday when they had a 10% off sale for Hack Friday.  Just in time!

The head is driven with the motor shield's two servo outputs and two of the four motor controllers.  For now, a potentiometer is read to control the motor and a rotary encoder, interrupt driven, selects which motor to control (could be done with 4 potentiometers possibly better).  The motor shield leaves enough Arduino pins free (all analog pins and digital pin 2 which is interrupt controllable).  Eventually the head will respond to sensors and possibly talk via an Emic speech board coming from a sale at Make.

Making the hookup much more enjoyable is my new Hakko soldering iron - near instant controlled heat, making the old Radio Shack model seem so 1976.

Happy Hack Friday!