Sunday, March 25, 2007

Microbric Robots!

I've got my hands on some cool Microbric Robots, thanks to Scott Hanselman and Josh Richards (Microbric Pty Ltd, Australia). Scott Hanselman sent Josh over to my blog, and he got interested in the work I'm doing. He sent me two i-bot kits, two Ai2 kits, a Viper kit (with some add on packs) along with an Iguanaworks IR Transmitter/Receiver. This IR tranceiver works with a serial port and can be used with WinLIRC to send and receive IR codes used by most televisions, DVD players, and other devices. It could also be used for controlling the Microbric Robots using a computer.

The Microbric robot kits consist of soldereless, interconnecting parts, and all you have to do is screw everything (switches, motors, sensors etc), directly into the mainboard, and thats it. I built the i-bot first, because I found it the easiest to build. After everything was ready, I made the robot do some simple things like line tracking and bump detection. I-bot can be programmed by scanning barcodes, or by using its own, icon/picture based programming language. Well, after doing some quick programming, I was able to make the i-bot do some cool things like light tracking. Watch the video above!

These robots are really fun to play with and I can't wait to get started on building the Microbric Viper and the Ai2! I plan to do several fun projects with these robots once I'm comfortable using them.

Scott Hanselman has some nice Coding4Fun articles on controlling the Microbric Viper using .NET here and here. Check them out!

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