Robert Doerr

Robert's Articles

Building the MD-1 Robot
August 2014
Get some inspiration from this robot build that was created by using a lot of common items in a unique way.

Creating a MiniBot
May 2013
Building robots with a great finished look doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. This article will show you how to construct a personable, cost-effective robot out of a trash can.

Creating a SpindleBot — Retro Turtle Robot Construction Tutorial
April 2012
Witness the birth of a whole new class of robots that can be affordably used for education and hobbyists.

Teach Your Old RoboScout Some New Scripts
February 2010
See how using an optional PC interface can let your robot learn some dif ferent tricks.

Reviving a Showbot
January 2008
One cool aspect of the robotics hobby is that there are so many different areas to explore. This keeps it really interesting! Recently, I was fortunate enough to pick up an old promotional showbot which made a nice addition to my robot collection. The robot itself seemed to be in pretty good shape overall. However, it was missing all the extras like the remote control unit, wireless headset communicator and, of course, there were no docs ...

Reviving an Androbot BOB | Part 1
February 2008
I enjoy restoring early personal robots to their original working condition. Most of my time is spent working on the HERO robots, but I always have other projects going on. One robot in particular — an early Androbot BOB prototype — was missing all of his brains and had been sitting for years as an empty shell. That was just not acceptable! Since the original electronics would probably never be found, I decided that I should at least use some of the extra robot parts from past projects to get...

Reviving an Androbot BOB | Part 2
March 2008
Last month, you read about how I started re-using some leftover robotics components to revive an old Androbot BOB robot chassis. I focused on what was needed to control the drive motors in the BOB base. I also covered upgrades to an old Handy Board controller to make it more suitable for use on a larger robot and enhancements to the board to make it more reliable. Since the only thing I had to start with was the empty robot shell and drive motors, this entire project is covering the rest of ...

Reviving an Androbot BOB | Part 3
April 2008
Over the last couple months,I’ve been using a lot of leftover parts to revive an early Androbot BOB prototype.He was missing all of his brains and had been sitting for years as an empty shell.Although I would have preferred to find the original electronics, I decided that I should at least use some extra parts from past projects to get BOB rolling again. All of the new electronics just plug in and bolt on so that no alterations are done to the original shell. The February ‘08 issue covered...

Reviving an Androbot BOB | Part 4
May 2008
Extra sensors, original sensors, wireless operation, autonomy, and programming | I hope that those of you following this series have learned a few new things! The previous articles have primarily focused on the hardware aspect of reviving BOB. They have covered taking an empty robot shell, adding a new brain with larger H-bridge drivers, working with the sonar sensors, and adding a co-processor to help offload tasks from the main processor. This article on BOB will cover adding some extra...

Encoder Matching | Scaling And Inverting Encoder Values
July 2008
One of the joys of the robotics hobby is mastering the art of interfacing. A lot of the parts are already in front of us and we just need to make them work together. Recently, I ran into a problem with a pair of quadrature encoders for the drive train on one of my robots. The encoders themselves worked fine and were generating perfect quadrature outputs. However, they were sending out data faster than the controller could handle at higher speeds. As a result, the encoder readings were ...