Loving Little Braitenberg Vehicle

The Braitenberg vehicles, an idea developed by cyberneticist Valentino Braitenberg, are autonomous vehicles that move around using wheels and light sensors connected to them. Motion is acquired using only the interaction between the vehicle and its environment, without information processing or internal memory of any kind. Still, the Braitenberg vehicles appear to have intelligent behavior because they react to their surroundings, changing speed or direction accordingly. For that, they are regarded as the simplest form of behavior based artificial intelligence.

These vehicles can exhibit various types of behavior, similar to “aggression” or even “love”. Yes, that’s right, this is a tiny car that loves light. It follows the light source, turning after it and stopping when the light is powerful enough. The motors run at full speed if it’s dark and when light is detected by one of the sensors, the motor on that side is slowed down, so the vehicle changes its direction towards the light. When the light is bright enough, both motors are stopped and the vehicle remains still. If the light source is moved, the vehicle will start moving towards it as soon as the sensors detect the change of light intensity.

As most of these vehicles, this light-loving car is rather simple in design and hardware, using an Arduino Mini Pro on a 170 tie points Mini Breadboard, both from Sparkfun. For locomotion, the vehicle uses 2 HXT500 mini servos working at 3.7V from Hobbycity and 2 GM10 wheels from Solarbotics. Seeing is provided by 2 Light Dependant Resistors. Finally, the vehicle is powered by a 3.7V LiPo cell with 800 mAh from Sparkfun, which is enough for the Arduino Mini Pro working at 3.3V.

This has got to be one of the cutest cars I’ve seen, you can check out the demonstration video in the link.

Loving Little Braitenberg Vehicle: [Link]

 Driving a Bipolar Stepper Motor on Breadboard

Jason writes:This entry shows the configuration I used to make a NMB (Minebea Electronics Co.) PM35L-048, 24VDC, 9.4 Ohm unipolar stepper motor work. I salvaged several of these motors from some Xerox inkjet printers. The motors were labeled well and I found manufacture specifications on-line. I was not able to find a wire diagram so I defaulted to making a truth table as I had done for unipolar steppermotors. Most steppers with 4 wires can usually be identified as bipolar stepper motors, which can be driven with a dual H-bridge IC such as the SN754410 by Texas Instruments.

Driving a Bipolar Stepper Motor: [Link][Via]

 Getting Started with PICAXE Microcontrollers the basic circuit on a breadboard

Its always great to read a tutorial that can help you get started on something, because it can provide a solid base from which you can progress. For example this getting started tutorial on PICAXE microcontroller, will teach you all you need to know for putting together a beginners project. From software to hardware its all covered.

Getting Started with PICAXE Microcontrollers: [Link][Via]

April 17th, 2008

Dual Core Arduino

 Dual Core Arduino on a breadboard

John Ryan on the Arduino forums says:

Here’s 2 ATMega168’s sharing one 16mHz resonator, one reset switch, two 10k resistors, one 220ohm resistor, and two LED pilots. I used a mini USB adapter and uploaded the LED blink test to both chips, and as Paul [Badger] suspected, they are perfectly synchronized – I’ve tested numerous resets, and the start up blink sequence and blink demo on both, are identical.

I don’t need synchronized chips, but I happen to have a use for 2 168’s connected via i2C – not sure if anyone else does but it adds a lot of pins and a second serial buffer for an almost next to nothing outlay. This can be put together using 1 RBBB and a second chip with the boot loader installed, so that’s quite inexpensive, so long as you’ve got got a mini USB adapter laying around.

Dual Core Arduino: [Link][Via]

April 8th, 2008

IC 4520 Binary Counter

IC 4520 Binary Counter on a small breadboard

This is a Binary Counter based on 555 timer and 4520 CMOS integrated circuit.The circuit looks simple and easy to build ,but with a simple modification you can turn your circuit into device that works like high tech dice.Rather then throwing dice to create a number you can use your 4520 to create random numbers between 0 and 15.

IC 4520 Binary Counter: [Via][Link]

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