Open Automaton Project

Construction blog: November 2004
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About 12 months ago I stumbled upon the OAP website.
I have been playing with various microcontroller based robots over the years, but have
always wanted to have some serious computing power onboard, so this project seemed like
great fun.

Once I had decided to start building the OAP bot I needed to source the parts. This in itself
is a fairly difficult task being based in Australia, but over the months I have slowly (and
covertly - I don't know about you, but explaining to my wife why spending several thousand
dollars on a robot that probably won't be able to help do the dishes is a good idea, scares me)
imported the modules necessary to at least start the project.

Below are the components I have so far:

The rex12 base and 12V 12Ah battery. The project calls for 13Ah but
I couldn't find one locally.

The 12V DC-DC PSU from iTuner and awesome LCD from CrystalFontz (its got white text with a blue backlight!)

The full set of PCBs (prototype version 0.2) have a few bugs but nothing that should stop construction.

Nehemiah M10000 EPIA M Mini-ITX 1GHz Mainboard from VIA.
512Mb RAM
20Gb 2.5" HDD
Don't you just love prototype wiring?!?

A whole bunch of electronics from Digikey (US) and DSE/Jaycar locally.

Base and battery.

Firstly I would like to thank Dafydd Walters and Scott Crawford for their great work thus far.

So far I have:
1 x Rex-12 Square Robot Base with HP Quadrature Encoders
2 x 12" Square Additional Deck
1 x Set of Long Risers and Spacers
2 x HEDS 5500 Encoder Cable
1 x Nehemiah M10000 EPIA M Mini-ITX 1GHz Mainboard from VIA
1 x 512MB PC2100 DDR DIMM
1 x PW-70 DC-DC Converter
1 x 12V 12Ah Sealed Lead Acid Battery
2 x ADS Pyro 1394 WebCam
1 x CrystalFontz 634 Intelligent Serial Display
12x Devantech SRF04 Sonar Sensor
1 x Belkin F5D6050 Wireless 802.11b USB NIC 11MBPS

1 x Pan and Tilt Kit
1 x Eltec 442-3 Infrared Sensor with Fresnel Lens
1 x Magnevation Motor Driver Kit based on two LMD18200 H-Bridges
1 x Power-Sonic PSC-124000A Battery Charger for Sealed Lead Acid Batteries (4 Amp)

I have Redhat Linux 9.0 up and running on the motherboard. The wireless belkin is working
and I can SSH into the robot remotely, as well as see its default web page.

I plan to start building a few of the PCB modules, as well as mounting the motherboard and other
components in the next week or so...

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