SERVO Magazine - June 2010

Simple Human Style Hands Within Your Robot’s Grasp


Features

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Give Your Robot a Better Grip On Things
by Anthony Cunningham
Add a whole new dimension to your robot by giving it a helping hand (literally!). Page 37

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Planning Out Your Software for Microcontrollers
by Matt Rusnak
The use of microcontrollers in hobby robotics continues to grow, but creating software for them can be intimidating. Matt takes you through his favorite process for developing software using a simple puzzle box project as his point of reference. Page 48

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Controlling Motors and Lights with Pulse Width Modulation
by Jürgen G. Schmidt
This article shows you how to implement PWM into your robotics design by demonstrating the principles through two simple projects. Page 54

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Using a VEX Controller for Electronic Experiments
by Daniel Ramirez
Learn two methods of interfacing LCDs into your next build as we connect a low cost character LCD to the VEX microcontroller. Page 60

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Add a Transceiver to Your ZeroG Trainer
by Fred Eady
Expand your Trainer project from last month by adding a transceiver to the mix. Page 67

Projects

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Enhance Your Plain Vanilla Benchtop Power Supply With a PICAXE

by Fernando Garcia

A power supply is an essential tool for any roboticist’s workbench. This article presents a cost-effective upgrade to get the functionality and flexibility you’ll need. Page 42

Columns

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Robytes
by Jeff Eckert
Robytes
Stimulating Robot Tidbits Page 08

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GeerHead
by David Geer
Remote Presence Robots Put Physicians Within Reach
The Remote Presence (RP) robots from InTouch Health enable physicians to be literally anywhere — in the emergency room, the ICU, at home, the office, or even at the same or dif ferent hospital. Page 10

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Ask Mr. Roboto
by Dennis Clark
Ask Mr. Roboto
Your Problems Solved Here Page 13

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The Combat Zone
by Kevin Berry
MANUFACTURING: Tentacle Calculator Rehosted by Killerbotics
The combat robotics community was deeply saddened by the passing of Steve Judd last year. Steve was an icon in the sport, and left behind a lasting legacy in many areas. Page 30

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Then and Now
by Tom Carroll
The Age of Robotics
A lot of people speak of the age of robotics. They’ve been doing that for decades. Sometimes these words are just hype by a book publisher to promote a book, whereas others are truly convinced that the period in which they live is the beginning of the age of robotics. They see robots everywhere in their lives — on TV, in the movies, cleaning their carpets, exploring space, and building cars world-wide. Page 77

Combat Zone

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PARTS IS PARTS: Data Points: Fine-Tune Your Bot’s Performance
in Combat Zone: Features
Knowing exactly how well your bot performs in a particular configuration would be very useful ... like, exactly how fast is the blade turning? What current is the weapon motor drawing at start-up and at cruise? How much does the battery voltage sag at full power? Page 28

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Open Melt — Generous Sharing or a Threat to Society as We Know it?
in Combat Zone: Features
The author — in a blatant attempt to up his word count and thus his income — summarizes material he’s already sold to SERVO once ... Page 30

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Dual-Dif ferential RPM Sensing or a Melty Brain/Translational Drift Robot
in
While there are many ways to tell your Melty bot’s microcontroller how fast it’s spinning, an on-board accelerometer is a particularly compact solution that can be built right onto the control board. Page 33

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Combat Zone’s Greatest Hits
in Combat Zone: Features
This month, only one builder submitted to Greatest Hits. Going by the mystery handle “kkeerroo,” this Australian fighter highlights his bot — “Vendetta” — competing at RoboWars 7 in a semi-final fight against a spinner call Bender. Page 34

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EVENT REPORT: 2010 Central Illinois Bot Brawl
in Combat Zone: Events
On March 6, 2010 robots invaded Peoria, IL as the Central Illinois Robotics Club (CIRC) hosted their annual Bot Brawl event. This year’s event was the club’s largest yet with eight separate competitions, as well as Mech Warfare demonstrations. Page 35