Dozer: Con midplate

Not sure why I decided to write the title in Spanish but it’s too late to change it now (Ed: no it isn’t). Did I mention I really like pretending I have an editor who proofreads everything I write (Ed: what do you mean, ‘pretending’?). I also really like the fact that I am blogging again, I think it’s something that has been missing, outlet-wise, for the last couple of years.

I really, really, really want to write a scifi book for teens at some point so hopefully having a maintenance free place to host my long-form ramblings will motivate me to get off my arse and get it done.

But I digress…

This post was meant to be about Dozer and the fact that I have successfully printed and mounted the midplate including the Raspberry pi and Arduino. I wrote a basic Arduino sketch to control the motors in a more OO way (motors and sensors will eventually be abstracted away even more) and the Raspi now runs a python script that talks to the Arduino over the usb serial port and tells it to move the motors when I tell it to.

In order to tell it to, the python script also creates a pyOSC (open sound control) server that listens for OSC commands. When it receives one it tells the Arduino to do various things. The last piece in the puzzle is a copy of TouchOSC running on my phone. It connects to the OSC server on Dozer and sends it commands when I press buttons in TouchOSC. And it works!

Not a surprise really as this is nearly exactly the same control method as my last robot, Scout, except Scout communicated over a transparent XBee serial link to my PC which ran the python script. That was all written so long ago I didn’t even have a Macbook at that point!

So things are going well. The first 2 layers of the bot are done, next up is the top layer and side shells and then it’s going to be iterate, iterate, iterate until it is an elite little robot mofo :) I already have improvements in mind to the castors on the base because they get stuck all the time on carpet and sometimes Dozer just plain falls over. Until next time!

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