About one year ago I bought my first Arduino and started this blog to share my experiences with Arduino. My original goal was to learn C/C++, and I thought Arduino was a good way to get me started.
After I connected a couple of buttons to my Arduino Uno and blinked some leds I started looking around what I could do with my new toy. I didn’t have much inspiration until I stumbled on letsmakerobots.com. I was going to make my own little robot 🙂 For the base I decided on the Dagu Rover 5 platform. Over the year I have transformed it multiple times. It is now my development platform. I have written dozens of sketches for it, from remote controlling it with my self designed Arduino based remote control to autonomous sketches using ultrasonic sensors, encoders, a Wiicamera, accelerometer, magnetic compass and lots of other electronics. I then built a simple line following robot, which was quite easy to program. I then started to built a hexapod, which was a lot more difficult. But I’m quite happy with the last robot I’ve built, my small Ebay-bot. I’ve written some sketches for it that work pretty well 🙂
The letsmakerobots community has been a big inspiration and help during my robot adventures. And I’ve met some friendly and helpful people on the LMR shoutbox.
Arduino has lots of libraries that are easy to use. Most come with example sketches that are easily modified. It’s only when you start mixing all these libraries that things become a lot harder. Some of the libraries will not play together. You will need some real programming skills to solve those issues, skills that I do not have 🙁 I would really need to take a programming course to improve my programming. Unfortunately where I live the only programming courses that schools offer are MS Visual C and java. Two languages that don’t interest me, and are not very useful for embedded programming.
I’m afraid I got a bit diverted and have spent more time learning electronics and searching for electronic parts then learning programming. I’ve spent a massive amount of time on Ebay searching for electronics and robot parts. I did learn to work with Eagle and figured out the basics of it. Now I can say that I have designed my own simple Arduinos, I have a dozen “Bajduinos” sitting on my desk 🙂 I found the Arduino form factor to limiting and I’m not a fan of the shield system. I prefer to buy separate modules and use wiring with Dupont connectors to hook them up. That is the reason I started making my own boards.
My plans for this year:
- Buy a couple of good C/C++ books and learn more about programming.
- Built a new hexapod with 3 DOF legs and program it using inverse kinematics. That will be quite a challenge 🙂
- Built a couple of boards with smd components, something that is new for me.
- Built a robot localization system to guide my robots using IR, ultrasonic sensor and nRF24L01 wireless modules.
- Try to write some more advanced code for my Rover 5.
- Figure out all the unused sensors and electronics that I have bought during last year.
- Built some kind of simple data logging system, based on Arduino of course.
- Spent less time browsing Ebay so I can get more things done 😀