My new hobby is robotics. I'm just starting out, and am currently programming for and building on the robot. This is what he looks like now (31-08-2011):

It's still a work in progress, any robot builder will see that the turret doesn't have sensors yet, and that the electronics are still a mess. I also need some other wheels for the front of the truck, the one on the frontleft is not round anymore. They have been ordered and should arrive soon.

Hardware I have now

Nikko "The monster off road"

An old remote control monster truck, with useless electronics. There's a kid talking about it and taking it for a spin here: I will use most of the hardware as the body of my robot, but the 'analog servo' that controls the steering has been replaced with a 'normal' servo for ease of control. The truck bed and the 'bonnet' have been cleared of unnecessary obstacles.

Modifications to the truck

7.2 Volt r/c car engine

A cheap '540' type brushed engine, that's built into the monster truck. It can make the robot go much faster than needed (reportedly 30 km/u +) . Exact amount of power required unknown, but peak current is definitely a couple of dozens of Amps.

GM V4r+ Motor controller
Since the old electronics are of no use, I need something else to control the engine. This is what I'll use for now. The BEC is reportedly capable of supplying 3 A @ 5.5V. The connector for the battery is of the 'Tamiya' type, the connector for the receiver is of the 'JR' type.

Microsoft lifecam cinema

This will be the eye of my robot. I bought it because it's standards compliant, and thus works (very well!) with the video for linux drivers. Out of the box (not bad for a Microsoft product is it?). Good image quality too. It's connected through USB.
The clip can be removed quite easily, however, the camera would still be able to rotate around the rest of the foot. I have not dared to open the camera any further to get rid of the foot. However, there's someone else who already hacked one (useful information about opening the casing) . I'll try that soon.

IR Range sensors GP2Y0A02YK
I'm not quite sure about the range sensors yet. For now, I have 2 IR range sensors GP2Y0A02YK, with a range of 20-150 cm. Apparently, these have a narrow beam. I have yet to test them.

Ultrasonic range sensor

( ).

I got me a parallax ping))), but have yet to test it.

Lynxmotion Lynx b pan and tilt kit

This will move the camera and other sensors around, allowing the robot to analyze the surroundings without moving the robot itself.

Roboard 110 single board computer

The brain! It's made specifically for robotics applications. Also, the optional video card. For now, the microSD slot contains an 8 GB class 4 card. Though I would like to have a bigger, faster card (preferably 32 GB class 10) it's difficult to get higher than class 4 cards in the 'normal' shops.

The mini-PCI slot is quite vulnerable! I managed to wreck one of the 'fingers' that keeps the card in place, when removing the video card the first time I used it.

What I still need and/or want


To know the position! The ultimate positional knowledge, but not too accurate and might not work well or at all inside.


With wireless the possibilities become virtually endless. Can be connected either through USB or mini PCI. I'll probably use USB to keep the mini PCI slot available for the video card. However, not all wireless systems are supported in Linux, so one that is compatible with Linux needs to be found.

3-axis accelerometer

An accelerometer enables you to:
- know up from down (gravity).
- detect crashes.
- detect speeding up and slowing down.
- detect corners.

Robot links