Bender Makes His First Balance
Here is the smaller test platform, balancing out in the back yard. Look MA! Only two wheels!
It has the PCB mounted on it, and has been made a bit taller to get the center of mass up nice and high.
It took quite A-LOT of work to get it to balance the first time. Lots of trial and error. I shot some videos along the way.
Baby’s First Steps (2.2 meg) – First time it got to balancing was late on a Friday night. The balancing algorithm is still a little shaky, but it is standing on it’s own two wheels!
Backyard Balance (3.6 meg)- Here it is, much smoother now, on the nice, uneven surface of the brick patio, smoothly balancing.
Kitchen Rampage (4.2 meg) – I finally got the remote control algorithms working. Now I can drive it around R/C. Here it is, tearing around the kitchen floor. My driving is not too good, but it doesn’t fall down! Even when I crash it into a kitchen cabinet. My house is getting more and more robot damage.
Robot Expo (3.8 meg) – Here is some footage of it balancing at the SF Robotics Society of America Robot Expo & Games. It balanced for about 6 hours straight, and only fell over once when I accidentally drove it into my leg going full speed. This was its longest balancing endurance yet. It is amazing how good the battery life on a balancing robot is, since the motor is only delivering small corrections it draws very little current.
Bob recently got his balancing robot working too. Here is a shot of the two of them balancing together at a recent robot club meeting.
Bender Gets a Head:
Bender has a head! Thanks to the great design skills of Bob Allen. The head can pan and tilt. It adds some interesting additional complexity to the balancing problems to compensate for head movement, but it won’t be that complicated to do…just a little more code!