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Cypress Maker Lab - Barc, the Robot Dog | Cypress Semiconductor

Cypress Maker Lab - Barc, the Robot Dog

I did a very silly thing last week. I committed to making a new demo for the Cypress Maker Lab at Embedded World (Nuremberg March 14-16). At these shows we do live demonstrations of how to build embedded applications like robotics and IOT. The live part is easy. We get good attendance at our shows and have some laughs with the crowds (and sometimes upset the neighbors a little bit). The tricky part is that I said I would create the new demo from scratch - and I really don't know how to do it.

Alan Hawse at Electronica 2016

IOT Expert, Alan Hawse, waving his arms at people at Electronica 2016

For the last couple of shows I have shown a robot car following a line of electrical tape. It works great - and I've blogged here and there about how to manage the array of photoelectric sensors - but the car was a one-off build and I am tired of following lines. Oh yeah, I also drove the car off the table at the last event and the less said about that the better.

My new robot needs to be tougher and a bit more interactive. A bit more fun to play with. I want some awareness and personality. I want a robot dog! And since I am "Building Another Robot Car" I shall call him Barc! Barc is going to be able to detect your presence and follow you. Or back off if you scare him by getting too close to his nose.

I shall build Barc with off-the-shelf parts from the usual maker sites and a PSoC prototyping kit. I am not about to 3D-print a dog's head for the "car" though so I will buy a bare-bones robot kit. I have chosen the Mini Robot Rover Chassis Kit https://www.adafruit.com/product/2939 from Adfruit. This kit comes with the chassis, motors, wheels and battery pack, which should minimize the amount of stuff I don’t know I need yet. Yes, he will be a wheeled dog - you don't see many of those. The kit does not have the microcontroller board or H-bridge motor controller or any sensor add-ons though, which is good, because those are the parts I want to build using the unique capabilities of PSoC.

So, the order has been placed. I've never done this kind of thing before. The boss is expecting a dog. I need to learn how to solder…

Comments

SREH's picture

Please please print a 3-D dog head. I can almost imagine a sleepy bull terrier :)

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