Posted on


Project by MarkusB

I am working since a while on a new humanoid to continue my AI experiments. So far I have finished a conceptual 3-D-drawing, based on the parts I want to use. The 2WD base is from Makeblock, the upper body the Johnny 5 torso from Lynxmotion. I have cancled the base rotate turntable and changed the original 1 DOF head with ultrasonic sensor to a 2 DOF head with compound eye. Following input/output devices are planned in the moment:

6 HC-SR04 ultrasonic sensors
Optical encoders for the geared motors
Devantech CMPS 10 compass module
Compound eye
Costum made speech recognition board based on the HM2007 chip (I love the fact that this chip works with perceptrons)
Parallax Emic 2 Text-to-Speech Module
2 geared motors for propulsion
14 DOF torso

HMOD-1-1 HMOD-1-2

Some further work done…

Changed geared motors of the Makeblock platform (from 6 V, gear ratio 1:75 to 12 V, gear ratio 1:184):


CNC machined nylon deck:


Platform with nylon deck, Arduino Mega, motor controller and Li-Po battery:


Machined aluminium deck:


Ultrasonic ranger (HC-SR04) array:


Obstacle avoidance will be done via so called bubble rebound algorithm (see attached PDF).

Attachment Size
Obstacle_avoidance_algorithm.pdf 265.24 KB

HMOD-1 upper body under construction:



Posted on

Build a Ball-Counting Robot Using Makeblock and Lego

The video above is a demo of the robot. After watching example videos showing a GBC (Great Ball Contraption), we really wanted to build one ourselves. Finally, we decided to build a robot which could count the number of the balls. It could be refitted to other robots which could count the number of screws or other tiny parts.

How it works
Since we don’t have an infrared sensor which could detect the object, we decided to build a smart structure which could give a response when the ball passes. As you can see in the video, we use a lever. The left side is a basket. When a ball is falling down, the limit switch is touched. It transmits a signal to a numerical display which shows the number of the balls. The electronic parts are based on Arduino.
View Project Steps:

Posted on

3&DBot: An Arduino 3D printer-robot with wheels


We know the origins of 3D printers and the robots. Someone had the great idea to combine these two concepts and build a hybrid robot that can print 3D objects on almost any print surface.

Hacking a 3D printer and a wheeled robot to build an innovative 3D printer-robot with omnidirectional wheels and independent movement is the idea of a team of engineers from NEXT and the physical computing lab LIFE from Brazil. The engineers find an elegant solution to print 3D objects on unlimited print surfaces with different materials having different properties such as ceramics, modeling clay, earthenware and other pasty mixtures that can be stored in a syringe extruder.

The innovative 3D printer was called 3&DBot and is based on the Arduino controller. The robot-printer is controlled wirelessly from a computer via Wi-Fi connection.

The movement of the robot on the XY axis is similar to the movement of a vehicle with four omnidirectional wheels. While the wheels move the platform in any direction, the 3D printer extruder melting and forming materials into a continuous profile with unlimited dimensions in the two-dimensional XY-plane.

The 3D printer is so simple that can be built at home. If you’re looking for more information, here’s a great story how the printer was built.


Posted on

One robot kit and two applications: line follower and obstacle detection


Line follower and obstacle detection are two very popular applications in robotics for both beginners and advanced users. The online stores are full of robot kits able to follow a black line, detect obstacles, or make available a wide range of components to build one of these bots. But the simplest solution remains a kit that makes all of these.

Featured with components for two applications and labeled with a cheap price, the Linksprite kit is one of the best platforms for beginners in robotics. This kit is designed for any maker who tries to learn electronics and programming quickly and without spending a fortune on components.

The wheeled platform has attached two sensor types: infrared and path sensors. In front of the robot can be seen a board with five sensors that can detect a black line. At a first glance, the path sensor board looks simple, and indeed, it is very simple. But, the path board can do more than follow a simple line. When the middle sensor of the path board detects the back line, the robot goes forward. If the sensors located on the right of the board detect the line, the robot car turns slightly to the left. By analogy, an opposite behavior is applied when the sensors located to the left of the board detect the line. This feature is very useful in robotics competitions where the speed and ability to follow a line is important. Also, the user has to work with PWM control that enables the control speed of the robot.

The robot car can also detect obstacles with three infrared sensors located in front of the platform. Having three sensors, the robot can sense the direction of the object detected and change the direction in order to avoid the obstacle.

All that being said, I should mention that the kit comes without the Arduino microcontroller. So, if you already use an Arduino board, the kit is available at a price of $59.00. If you don’t have an Arduino board, you need to add $20 more for an Arduino UNO. The code for both applications is here.