Category Archives: Arduino

Ultrasonic sensor comparison part 2

In my previous post, I posted some comparisons of some expensive $30 ultrasonic sensors (the Parallax Ping and the RadioShack Range Finder) and some cheap HC-SR04 sensors. I came to the conclusion that the HC-SR04 sensors were not as accurate but it turns out my testing approach was deeply flawed and my results and conclusions were completely incorrect. These tests… Read more »

Ultrasonic sensor review: Parallax Ping, SainSmart HC-SR04, RadioShack Ultrasonic Range Sensor

Ultrasonic sensors are great for providing distance sensing to robots so they can navigate around obstacles and hopefully prevent them from crashing at high speed and damaging themselves. Probably like many people new to robotics, I have been using the Parallax Ping sensor as well as the RadioShack Ultrasonic Range Sensor, which are both great products, but at $30 each… Read more »

G-Force Makeover

My kids helped me paint G-Force and add some black duct tape lines. For a $3 paint job it’s turned out better than I expected.   The single ping sensor wasn’t cutting it for avoiding obstacles so I added two more. Obstacle avoidance is basically working now but I haven’t really been able to test it at the same time… Read more »

G-Force Navigation

With two weeks to go until the SparkFun AVC competition, the good news it that I now have basic autonomous navigation working. Here’s a short video demonstration. The next challenge is to make the robot avoid obstacles. This is important since there will be several large barrels on the course. After many hours trying to get obstacle avoidance working with… Read more »

G-Force upgraded to NiMH batteries

I’ve now upgraded from regular alkaline AA batteries to a 7.2v NiMH battery pack and this has solved the issues I was having with making G-Force make turns while in motion. I’ve also been experimenting with gradual acceleration to reduce current and risk of stalling. Here’s a short video showing accelerating from being stationary and performing a short turn. [youtube¬†https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4wb2hSXvjg]

RGB blinky with Adafruit Trinket

With Halloween coming up, I decided to build some LED lights to go inside our pumpkins this year instead of using candles and wanted to have something programmable but without the cost of an Arduino board so decided to try out Adafruit’s trinket microcontroller. These are Arduino-compatible (with limitations) and only cost $7.95. Here’s a video of a couple different… Read more »

Ars Technica article featuring my Daleks

I was pleasantly surprised to see my two Dalek projects featured in an Ars Technica article¬†11 Arduino projects that require major hacking skills. The first project was this simple obstacle avoiding robot Dalek using an Arduino and some ultrasonic sensors. For more information about this project, click here. The second is a full size Dalek that I built in 2012… Read more »