Walk your robot dog with LEGO

robot walker

Since he spends way too much time programming robots, Pavel Petrovic, felt he should delegate the task of walking his robot dog… to his other robot. No, that isn’t the real story, but there isn’t a lot of justification for the project besides it being a neat trick. LEGO IR tower support for WowWee bots had already been developed, but Pavel decided to try controlling the bots using the LEGO RCX. BrickOS provides direct control of the RCX’s IR port. Pavel’s program lets the simple LEGO bot issues commands to the RoboPet to lead it around the room. It works, but isn’t too reliable because there is no way for the RCX to determine the absolute position of the dog. Have a look at Pavel’s site to see videos of it in action.

[thanks Robert Oschler]

Comments

  1. That’d save having to walk those damn robodogs. They make a noise every two minutes if you dare ignore them.

  2. Justin says:

    If you use a Lego spybotic module instead of an RCX, there is hardware designed to help obtain the position of the IR signal. The Spybotics are also cheaper than mindstorms sets, but only have two sensors and two motors (though the processor seems to be more powerful)

  3. toxic ice says:

    I really, really have to get back to using lego again. Thanks for the post.

  4. Actually there is a very good use for this hack. Direct control of a WowWee robot with a Lego tower is only possible with the older Lego Serial Tower, since it is driven by an RS-232 port. The USB Tower won’t work since you can’t alter its transmission pattern to emulate the consumer IR signal the WowWee robots need (as far as I know).

    With this new hack by Pavel, you could use the RCX to be a “relay station” for the USB tower; a repeater that transmits the desired IR signal to the WowWee robot. This allows Mindstorms 2.0 owners that have USB towers, to control their WowWee robots (and other consumer IR based robots and devices), from their USB serial tower. Note, it does require that the RCX unit run the BrickOS O/S.

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