Why Do We Fall, Master Bruce?

We’re back! After an embarrassingly long hiatus (given how briefly this project had been going for) we’re back and hopefully for longer this time around.

First robot is done but there is some broken hardware that I need to replace before I can get a demo up, in the meantime, work has begun on Robot #2…a telepresence robot! Check out the video for details on all of the above.

Hooray! Nothing Caught Fire!

The first Cylon is well on its way and so far, no part of it has burned out or burst into flames, which I consider a mark of progress. The components are all attached and the obstacle avoidance code seems to work, but I’m having issues testing it properly because the wheels I’m using aren’t very good and are getting in the way of functionality. The plan is to get new wheels and see if that changes anything. I’m also having a balance problem where the robot keeps falling over backwards. You could fix this by adding a third wheel at the back, but I got the idea to add brushes instead and try to turn this obstacle avoider into a roomba! I’ll fiddle around with that over the next week and we’ll see how we go. For more details on what I did as well as what I’ve got planned for next month, check out the video.

Introducing the 12 Cylon Challenge

A lot of people like to make new years resolutions but this year, Mark Zuckerberg took it one step further and set himself a challenge to build an AI that manages his house. Not one to be shown up by the Zuck, I decided to set my own challenge. You’ll find my whole schpeel in the Facebook post below but the long and short of it is: I’m going to build one robot every month for the entirety of 2016 and the whole thing will be called the 12 Cylon Challenge.

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As I mentioned in the post, I want each robot to be simple enough that I can do it as a hobby project over the course of the month. That said, I don’t want to rebuild the same thing 12 times so each month I will pick a theme, a concept or piece of tech that I want to fiddle with, and base the bot around that. That way each one has a unique flavor. January’s robot will be a simple obstacle avoider and the theme for the month will be building a complete system out of off-the-shelf components (as opposed to a pre-packaged kit).

I want to keep people up to date on my progress; I like YouTube as a medium but sometimes you need to have text. So all my updates will be posted to this blog, but the updates may just be an embedded YouTube video with a little bit of intro text. That about covers all the background information I have for this post. You’ll find the first video of this challenge below where I talk about my first robot, component shopping and what you can expect from this challenge. Enjoy and let me know what you think!