Make:it Robotics Starter Kit – Download Files

Apparently Radio Shack has changed the link to where you can download the program code for the Make:it Robotics Starter Kit.  I will put the zip file here on my site so everyone can download the files directly from my blog site. WordPress does not allow the uploading of .zip files so I renamed the file as Program_Files.doc. To download just click on the below link.  Once downloaded just double click on the files to unzip or rename .doc to .zip, if you want to keep the .zip file for archive and cannot remember that the extension name change. Enjoy…
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Make:it Robotics Starter Kit – Sending Sensor Data Wirelessly

In this blog post we are going to take what we learned in “Make:it Robotics Starter Kit – Wireless Connectivity” and “Make:it Robotics Starter Kit – Capturing Sensor Data” and combine this data to capture sensor data in real time and send this data to a program running on our computer wirelessly. So if you do not have your robot configured to use the Transmitter and receiver, take a look at the blog post “Make:it Robotics Starter Kit – Capturing Sensor Data” and re-configure your robot and FTDI cable. In order to send sensor data to our computer we again…
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Make:it Robotics Starter Kit – Wireless Connectivity

In this blog post we are going to take the information that we learned in the earlier blog post entitled “Make:it Robotics Starter Kit – Software Part 2″ and capture real time sensor data and send this data wirelessly to our computer. In order to complete this section we need to purchase a few items: RF Radio Transmitter and Receiver, (5 volt, not a 3.3 volt) Male Female jumper wires In addition we will need our FTDI USB cable, or a FTDI USB dongle. I did a bit of searching on the web and found a RF Data Module Tx/Rx…
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Make:it Robotics Starter Kit – Driver board Familiarization

In this blog post we will take a look at the driver board that comes with the Make:it Robotics Starter Kit. There is no documentation that comes with the Start kit concerning the Driver board other than the schematic. Unless you have some experience reading schematics the task of understanding what is on the driver board and how to use it beyond the kits that Radio Shack provides might be a bit daunting. So we are going to show some images of the driver board and the schematic and point out some of important parts and map these to the…
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Make:it Robotics Starter Kit – Binary Part 2

In the last post we started analyzing the bitwise operations in the lineFollow.ino sketch. We looked how the sensor readings are interpreted to make the robot go forward. In this tutorial we are going to continue our analysis in looking how the lineFollow.ino program interprets when the black in under the left sensor. By again referring to the output from our readOptical.py Python program when the third and fourth sensor readings are 0x00 and 0x100. (refer to the readOptical.py program if you need a reminder. We will again start at the top of the for loop again: optValues = [0xff,…
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Make:it Robotics Starter Kit – Binary Part 1

In our last blog post we captured some sensor data from the three different positions that our robot can encounter when following the black line, (left sensor black, left sensor/right sensor white, right sensor black). In this blog post we are going to take that sensor data and run it thorough our readOptical.py Python program and evaluate what is happening in our lineFollow.ino program. We are going to look at the following sections of code: if((sensor_in & 0xf00) == 0) sensorValue1 = sensor_in & 0xff; else if((sensor_in & 0xf00) >> 8 == 1) sensorValue2 = sensor_in & 0xff; if (sensorValue1…
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Make:it Robotics Starter Kit – Capture Sensor Data

Last blog entry we discussed a bit about what the linefollow.ino program is doing. I presented a Python script that will allow us to analyze the bitwise if statements to see how the value that the read_Optical() method returns gets converted to the values of 0, 1, 2 or 3. Now we are going to put all of this together and see what is really happening on the robot. Sometimes when looking over a program that someone else developed, it is sort of hard to visualize what the program is doing. So one of the things I like to do…
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Make:it Robotics Starter Kit Software – Bitwise Logic

This blog post is a continuation on my tinkering with the Make:it Robotics Kit. Hopefully I can pass on some of the information that I have learned so it will make it easier for others to get up to speed on working with the Robotics Kit. After building the line following robot, the manual had a link to download the software for the robot. I tried to navigate to the link and it was not available: http://shack.net/MakeitRobotics. This is a common problem when manufactures are writing documents, links seem to change and revisions often miss each other. Not a problem…
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Make:it Robotics Starter Kit

I finely got some spare time to start working on C/C++ embedded systems and robots. So in browsing around at Radio Shack I stumbled upon the Make:it Robotics Starter Kit. Apparently a joint collaboration between Radio Shack and the folks at Maker Media, Inc. The same people who bring you Make: Magazine. When I got home I quickly broke open the box and started looking over the contents. The kit comes with everything you need to build two robots with the exception of an Arduino Uno and 8 AA batteries. In Starter Kit you can build either a line following…
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