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Friday, 25 April 2014

PenguinBot Self Defence - or How to Arm a Penguin



Over on Hack-A-day, one of the readers joked that I should have Nerf Launchers on the PenguinBot:



And given that today *IS* World Penguin Day , I thought I would spend some time this weekend to add some more playfulness to PenguinBot.
(Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with World Penguin Day or GreenPeace. I apologise if you find this article is in poor taste.)

In a previous update, I had mentioned that I was working on changing Operating Modes from full manual, to Wandering with Object Avoidance, to Following a light with sound activation or Hand Claps.  

I live in a house with three young children...  There is no such thing as "Ambient Sound" in my house to set a reasonable threshold.  (Seriously!!!) 



Additionally, Penguins were not meant to be tethered!  Not even for programming! 

So... I've installed Bluetooth!  

I can now command this Penguin from the comfort of my chair! 



And to appease the readers of Hack A Day ....  
I'm installing a Penguin Self Defence system. 

No more will my PenguinBot be at the mercy of marauding sharks! 

I found this in my junk drawer.  I believe it came off of a kids remote  control car. It has a simple geared DC motor.
As I only need to run it in one direction, I can turn it on and off with a transistor.  


As you can see here, the Nerf Launcher fits nicely on the opposite side as the battery pack.  AND as an added bonus, it offsets the weight of the batteries which had the annoying effect of causing the forward motion to pull to the left. 

Below find the new and improved schematic diagram of PenguinBot V2.0.


I will be wiring this up over the weekend, adding some sequencing to randomly shoot in the direction of bright lights, and uploading the videos.

Cheers, and have a great weekend.  You bet I will...







References:
http://worldpenguinday.com/
http://playground.arduino.cc/Learning/Tutorial01
http://www.instructables.com/id/Android-talks-to-Arduino/
http://learn.adafruit.com/downloads/pdf/adafruit-arduino-lesson-13-dc-motors.pdf
https://sites.google.com/site/stembotics/projects/bluetooth
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obstacle_avoidance
http://www.instructables.com/id/Arduino-Object-Avoidance-Robot/