[IAEP] [Butia-list] XO robotics

Tony Anderson tony_anderson at usa.net
Thu Sep 27 16:24:56 EDT 2012


I would love to see you at the SF meeting to explain Butia to that audience.

It was my understanding in Montevideo, that the robot is controlled 
directly from Turtle Art. For me, the really great thing you have done 
is to strap the laptop on the robot platform. This is not for cute 
pictures, it is really exciting for the student to see the robot obeying 
his or her instructions (right or wrong). The fact that the laptop is 
riding on the robot vehicle means that its movement is not limited by an 
umbilical cord.

As Yama states, we really need (for me, in English) a parts list and set 
of instructions for building the robot so that it can be done by any 
deployment. I had hoped that such a session would be conducted in SF as 
I would dearly love to be able to set up a robot at the Saint Jacob 
school in Kigali in December. Naturally, we will also need some lesson 
plans for use of the robot to further the mandated curriculum in Science 
(and mathematics).

My example would be to have the student program the robot to approach a 
wall as closely as possible without touching it. This would involve some 
understanding of the ratio of the wheel diameter to its circumference, 
the number of degrees the wheel advances for each forward step, and 
whole lot of other interesting concepts. For example, such a contest 
could lead to the issue of feedback; how to use a sensor so the robot 
knows when it is close. Should this be visual (camera) or acoustic or 
the bending of a wire or ....


On 09/27/2012 02:08 PM, Jorge wrote:
> On 27/09/12 13:35, Yama Ploskonka wrote:> 1) I wouldn't say better...
> rather, complementary, and certainly
>  > cheaper. Visiting the Butiá pages, the only picture I see showing an MCU
>  > http://www.fing.edu.uy/inco/proyectos/butia/images/pistaButia.jpg is
>  > showing an Arduino. Add a motor driver, and we are well above $30, plus
>  > shipping. The USBButiá board is maybe cheaper IF done in quantity by
>  > experts (then add labor).
> Besides the microcontroller the USBButiá board provides standard
> connectors for attaching sensors. It allows autodetecting what sensor
> you connected and were (something like the NXT brick, but with a wider
> spectrum of attacheable stuff, more connectors, easier to hack, and
> plug&play).
> We sidestepped the motor driver issue using digital servos.
>  > MSP430 + (L293D OR some darlington array) can be "free" if you get them
>  > as samples from TI, or less than $5 when purchased, /plus shipping/, the
>  > old bane. the advantage of using a darlington driver is that then you
>  > may use plain DC motors, which can be free if lucky with old electronic
>  > parts (beautiful gear system available in old CDROM drives)
>  >
>  > 2) yop - the XO "drives" the vehicle with the MSP430 option also. Now, I
>  > put quote marks as I have no idea - yet - on how to send data direct
>  > realtime from the XO to the robot, bypassing the MCU. What seems to be
>  > happening is that Butiá depends on sending code/program to the Arduino,
>  > and the the 'duino does the brains of the robot.
> Nop, the control runs fully on the XO. MCU only interfaces
> sensors&motors and supports the plug&play functionality. No user logic
> runs on the MCU.
> The user programs on the XO access sensors/actuators connected the MCU
> and whatever the XO provides (mic, cam, accelerometer if there is one)
> transparently. The most frequent programming environment is TurtleArte
> (kisds already know it), but there are also Python and Lua environments
> for when the problem or the user outgrows Turtle Art.
> In my opinion, what MCU is used is not actually important. What is
> important is the programming environment, how it interfaces with
> whatever your robot offers, and the mechanism you provide for adapting
> your robot for solving different problems.
> Jorge
> .

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