Entries from December 2018 ↓

Robots and RC and Chaos, Oh My!

Wow, I haven’t posted since July? Wow. Um. Ok. It was a summer, and a fall, and now it’s winter. Dogs are dogs, snakes are snakes, gecko and tortoise are gecko and tortoise. We have the annual plague of stinkbugs, not so many evil ladybugs this year. Bunnies have been hunted. Robin is still working at the Jewel deli, Ron is still driving for Schneider, and I’m still a mind-numbing bureaucratic ghoul. We got a new water heater, and turned in Mongo (the big pickup truck) when the lease was up, so now Robin or I are shuttling Ron to/from Gary, which is cheaper than a car payment.

I have pretty much abandoned G+ in favor of Twitter (@SDrekkar, screenname Cranky Prognathodon), because G+ just never got the traffic, many interesting people are on Twitter, and Google is shutting down G+. And I still hate Facebook, and only still have an account to see what a few of my friends are up to.

For Christmas Robin got cash which translated into miniatures – *what* a shock! I should have gotten Ron a 1/14th scale RC semi truck, but decided it was too expensive, so I spent almost as much on a 1/25th scale static model. And he ordered an RC VW Bug, because it is no longer in production, and it will be Herbie, yes it will.

I have long lusted after a hexapod robot. If money was no object, I’d get this bad boy:

https://www.trossenrobotics.com/phantomx-ax-hexapod.aspx

PhantomX AX Metal Hexapod kit with 18 upgraded servos for $2200. Yeah, no. Kit with standard servos is $1300. Still no. So I poked around and poked around, and decided this one would be a more affordable place to start:

http://www.lynxmotion.com/c-145-ah2.aspx

Lynxmotion AH2, with 12 servos, for $400-ish. This one is only two degrees of freedom/joints/servos per leg, and parts of it are polycarbonate. Also had to pick up a battery and charger.

Assembly was . . . challenging. Not so much the actual assembly, but because the directions were not updated when the two control circuit boards were updated, and the packaging of the screws, bolts, and other small parts was not sane. But I got through it, with some help from Ron and a post to a discussion board.

Here’s the current state of the hexapod:

Saturday I finished assembly, applied power, boards work, servos twitch, tried to install the control/programming software, and found out it’s Win7/8 only. We’re an Apple household. I have ordered a refurb Win7 box, Robin says we have a spare working monitor. Should arrive Friday. Once I have it working with pre-programmed movement, I plan to add a daughter board to allow remote control.

This weekend Ron revived his old Tamiya Toyota Bruiser RC truck, with a new battery, speed control, and servos. The beagles Do. Not. Trust. With much barking, and Tommy was trying to chomp one of the front tires. They bark at the neighbor boy’s RC car, so this was not a surprise. Pippin thinks they’re idiots. I figure they ought to *really* love my robot.