No one is perfect.

This applies to robots too. Looking at you Frank.

It didn’t take long to realize the design flaws in him. First, let’s take a look at the top.

IMG_20130725_112353

Before even programming him and powering him on, I realized the first flaw. The breadboard where all of the electrical junctions are is right up to his rotating head. While it hasn’t caused too many problems, the path of his head goes over a few pins in the breadboard, wiping out a few connection options. He hasn’t yanked out any wiring just yet, but I always have that fear in mind when he’s roaming about.

The next problem is his head. Cardboard is easy to work with because it’s a material that’s just lying around the house and easy to cut. Unfortunately, it doesn’t make a good head. The connection to the servo was made by tape. It held up great for a while, until he hit a door and beheaded himself. I tried using some pins to give it some more strength and to connect it to the servo horn a little better, but it’s not really working. His head tends to flop around a bit when he’s moving.

Now let’s take a look at the underside:

IMG_20130806_102653

So the first quick problem is the speaker tends to fall loose from the carriage. It takes just a quick squeeze to get it back on. Not a huge problem.

The biggest problem on the underside are the two servos. Originally, there was a cardboard bar going across connected to the underside of each servo to keep them secure and level. Unfortunately, as he was roaming around, the bar was picking up hair and dirt, even ants (not the best idea to test him out in a kitchen in the summer).  He’s an explorer, not a janitor. The bar was removed, but now the servos sort of bend inward with his weight on the two wheels (as expected, that’s where the battery packs are, the heaviest parts on him).

I’ve been wondering what to do next. There are a few options:

  • I can continue playing around with his current build. All that means is toying with the programming, trying to make him a little smarter with what he’s got.
  • I can rebuild him using better materials and planning.
  • I can salvage his parts to create a new project.

In the most likely case, I’ll probably go down the list in that order. Hmm.

This was a great learning experience in planning, building, and troubleshooting. I hope you learned something too. Thanks for reading!

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