Personally, I don’t like robots, cause I’m close to that. Some might suggested being me an android, well, do I really care?
Yesterday, my brother Ehsan who is studying in UBC (University of British Columbia, Canada) has sent 3 HexBugs. While showing the working procedures to my children, I found the “Charlie Bug” wasn’t working. If I recall my daughter’s version, it is dead. One of her legs also got flatten due to the fact long haul flight’s luggage handling. This one [pink version] was destined for my daughter. I looked at her. The next thing I know, I have to fix it by night.
I googled for an hour or two, I could get the diagram and reassembled the clutch chassis to get it working right. But it opened up other possibilities what other HexBug hackers had been doing it. Well, all you need is an 8 pin, Microchip PIC microcomputer, might be few millimeters at length! Assembly codes?
Basic HexBug comes with limited “personality” or behavior to lower the cost. This tiny little six-legged robot will move forward until its antennae bump something, then it backs up and turns left. You will see loads of “bump and forward” toys, but it has real time legs, where it has to decide things.
The best part, you can add more personalities with a help of a micro-controller and numerous sensors to behave differently.
The possibilities are:
- You can add a light detector, and can be programmed to get to the brightest place in your room.
- The HexBug could eventually ‘go to sleep’ when it’s dark, and can always be active when it is morning.
- The HexBug would be able to check its own battery voltage, and ‘Cry’ for newer batteries when it is hungry, or when it is running out of batteries.
- This HexBug could get to ‘hibernated’ mode like our laptops instead of just being awake all the time. During sleep mode, the microcomputer barely uses any power.
- It can talk if you add a piezo-buzzer, depending upon the environment you are making it to go through.
- It can sing songs on your birthday and all Eid days!
- If you could add a tiny solar cell, which is available, it can walk up to a brighter location to recharge when it finds out low voltages in its batteries.
- If you could add an IR-control module, it can even talk to a TV remote!
- You can add some programming to seek out a ‘gas/charging station’ that uses an IR transmitter to locate the station and recharge its batteries.
- If you add IR Proximity sensors, it will never fall down from your table. Edge detection is pretty much required here.
- Adding a GPS can add the functionality to send it to your friend’s house to deliver cards.
Actually, you can do almost everything using modern world electronics and sensors, welcome to the world of robotics!
And, how about this?