Robbie Mk. III

A little history
Way back cica. 1987 I decided building a robot would be a way cool idea. I set out building a beast
of a brain for my creation. I put together the excellent Talking Electronics TEC-1B Z80 based
computer. After weeks of building and testing (I was only 13!) I had it up and running.
Ah, those were the days, programming a Z80 in hex...
So my Dad helped me put together an aluminium light weight frame. It was slightly modelled
on the old Hero robot from Heathkit. Luck was not on our side, and Robbie Mk I got destroyed
before he every really came into being. A non fatal car accident saw Robbie Mk I thrown from
a trailer - ending up in pieces all across the highway. The electronics were not hurt, but
the shell was destroyed beyond recognition. So died the dream of Robbie Mk I.

Many years later the idea of building a robot again seemed like a good idea. This time I
began experimenting with the PIC series of microchips, namely the very popular 16F84. Again
my father came to the rescue with his woodworking skills and built me a platform on which we
mounted some geared motors. I still laugh thinking back how i tried to control the motors
using a complex array of relays to change the current direction. You should have seen the
sparks fly! I was truely a happy man the day I discovered what an H-brige was :)

So Robbie Mk II was born, on a chipboard base with 2 geared motors. I got it to the stage
where it could drag itself *very* slowly around the room aided by an infrared proximity
detector circuit. I have a few old photos of the base which i will upload in the coming weeks.

My brother having declared Robbie Mk II as being an insult to the eye offered his services as
a model builder. He came up with the stunning design you see below.

The motorized platform for Robbie III is almost complete.

Over the Christmas break i will start adding the electronics.

The under belly.
A big thank you to brother Nathan for his tireless work in getting the platform up and
running. As you can see the boy has got skills!

I plan to add the electronics in the following order:
PIC 16F877A (20MHz) based main controller.
An Olimex prototyping board.
2 x SRF08 Range Detectors.
MD22 Motor Controller.
A Knight Rider LED scanner to make it look pretty.
SP03 Text to Speech module.
Amplifier for loud speech.
CMUCam camera tracking system.
Voice Extreme Speech Recognition Module.

Keep checking back here - as i add electronics i'll update the photos.