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construction notes

    
With main shell in place, original battery compartment is accessible, along with programming port for the micro.

With main shell in place, original battery compartment is accessible, along with programming port for the micro.

Overview of full customization

Overview of full customization

Rear compartment with boost regulator, main board, rear whisker detectors.

Rear compartment with boost regulator, main board, rear whisker detectors.

IR detector and emitters up front

IR detector and emitters up front

The existing lid, rewired for better control of built-in LEDs and to allow for mounting a small piezo speaker.

The existing lid, rewired for better control of built-in LEDs and to allow for mounting a small piezo speaker.

   

construction notes and build photos

The basic platform is a "Morphibian", a cheap, easily hacked, radio-controlled toy. They are commonly available for about US$22 at various online and in-store retailers.

The original RC receiver/driver box sat behind the drive wheels, right where the new custom board sits. This removed -- and saved for other projects.

A small boost regulator board was purchased from SparkFun -- this boosts the 3AA batteries to a smooth 5v for the custom electronics.

A small piece of prototype board holds the SX microcontroller and a small monolithic motor driver.

Circuitry is pretty simple -- an L293D motor driver and an SX for basic control. A small 5v boost regulator module boosts the 3AA NiMH rechargeables to 5v for the electronics. A whisker contact on the back and a piezo speaker up top round things out. In an effort to save power wherever possible, most circuitry (leds, IR detector, etc) are powered from the SX pins rather than the main rails -- this lets the SX shut down as much as possible when the 'bot "goes to sleep".

  

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