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October 2011

Servo Magazine

Add A PICAXE To Your Beginner Bot

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Features

Double Your USB Pleasure With Cerebot

What do you get when you throw a little USB, some SPI, and a PmodRF2 into a MiWi stew? If you cook up all of those ingredients in a Cerebot 32MX7 pot, you will end up with a mechanically inclined 32-bit RF-capable robotic controller. This month, Fred shows you how to use various Digilent Pmods and the Microchip MiWi stack to establish an RF data link between a pair of Digilent Cerebot 32MX7s.


Designing A Low Cost Laser Range Finder — Part 1

Joe takes us on his journey in developing a laser range finder, from beginning concepts to finished product.



Projects

Upgrading the Boe-Bot — Part 2

This last installment will show you how to add infrared remote control, line following sensors, a compass, and an infrared range sensor.


Getting Started With FPGAs — Part 2

For this last part, a more complex and useful digital design using the Basys2 FPGA trainer will be demonstrated.


Adding a Microcontroller to the Beginner Bot — Part 3

By moving up to a miniature computer to operate your Beginner Bot, you’ll be able to modify its action and behavior just by rewriting a few lines of code.



Columns

Robytes
by Jeff Eckert
Robytes
Stimulating Robot Tidbits

GeerHead
by David Geer
GeerHead
Kilobot Swarm Robots

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

Then and Now
by Tom Carroll
Then and Now
How Robotics Has Changed Over the Years




Combat Zone

BUILD REPORT: Trilobite — a Tough Beetleweight Brick/Wedge

Ihave long held the opinion that a good wedge/brick is the best type of bot for most beginners in the sport.


BUILD REPORT: A Team Building Exercise

My Kitbots bot hockey team “Team Scotch Pies” had competed in one event and taken part in a couple of demonstrations, but the bots were retasked for a summer camp and were less than ideal.


EVENT REPORT: Clash of the Bots 2 by Pete Smith

The Schiele Museum (http://www.schielemuseum.org) in Gastonia, NC held their second “Clash of the Bots” open day on Saturday, July 23rd.


EVENT REPORT: BOTBLAST Rocks Columbia Mall

The Columbia Mall in Bloomsburg, PA, hosted the fourth annual BotBlast competition on July 16th.


PARTS IS PARTS: Fingertech ‘Silver Spark’ Gearmotor Review

Fingertech Robotics’ first line of Insect-sized gearmotors — the Gold Sparks — were originally released in 2009 as a drop-in replacement for the commonly used Banebots 16 mm models.


PARTS IS PARTS: Susie’s Saga Continues – The Beginner’s Guide to Motors

In the last issue of SERVO, we introduced you to Susie — a young girl trying to begin a career in combat robotics.


End Of The Alkalines

Iwrote an article about programming cheap 2.4 GHz HK-T6A transmitters that appeared in the January’11 issue of SERVO. In that, I commented on how it’s probably a good idea to convert from the standard AA alkaline batteries to rechargeable batteries.