Tuesday, December 21, 2010


It's just starting to get hot again so this Summer I'm planning on working outside on my robot projects. I have many ideas to try on my Large 300 lb robot Ethel. With Ethel in mind, I wanted a smaller and safer robot to test software ideas and programing on. So I combined a portable PC to PWM interface I made using a Lynxmotion SSC-32 servo control board a Parallax serial to USB adapter and a home made made 2200 mah  6 vdc NiCad battery pack. with a couple of power switches and some indicator LED's for flavor and to remind me to turn it off. Then I mounted this a Parallax BoeBot Chassis. I modified the left servo motors internal wiring to turn in the same direction as the right servo motor. Now I don't have to reverse it's direction with the software like in the BoeBot code and "Presto" the LynxBot was born.

The LynxBot talks to a laptop computer through a USB port using the RoboRealm software just like my big robot Ethel in fact they use the exact same VBscript with little or no modification.  So now if I get an idea late at night I can easily test it right away before I forget what the heck I was pondering while watching a rerun of Mythbusters or just hanging out on the outdoor work table.

I added the Dave Brown Lite Flite wheels to the basic BoeBot chassis and then mounted the black box. 

Boy I only have 30 unused servo control ports left. I hope that's enough for world domination and stuff. 


First test included getting the LynxBot talking through RoboRealm to the Logitech Mouse and  Joystick. The test was successful and the controls, software and drive train hardware are playing nicely together.. The next step is to add a usb hub to my laptop and then a usb camera to the LynxBot so it can see the world... 

With a quick bit of electrical tape and a piece of aluminum I added a $15.00 Emprex usb web cam to the LynxBot.

The LynxBot is connected to the Laptop computer with usb extension cables. The one's I'm using have blinking LED's for a little extra bling. I was wondering if they would effect the vision processing, so far I haven noticed a problem. 

Now with all the parts installed I downloaded the object tracking program from the RoboRealm web site and the spent a bit of time modifying it's values to work with the SCC-32 board and the Emprex camera. After about three hours of testing tweaking the VBscript code and then re-testing, I got it all working . Wow! This is neat a machine that can actually see and then turn and track a colored ball. Plus it can judge its distance from the colored ball and maintain it's distance from the ball. This make the Lynxbot kinda like a well trained puppy Dawg. You can see the amazing LynxBot in action below.

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