As we came up with a designer for children's robotics. # 2

    Hello, Habr!

    Today, as promised, I will talk about one of the alternative applications of our constructor.

    Problem # 1. Structural elements

    For about a year now we have been making funny gadgets from various electronic semi-finished products.
    It can be a boat for feeding ducks , an automatic watering system for a flower, or a strange thing, like a Becha RFID tape recorder .
    The result of this work is the gadget itself, a video review and a wiki article. The article describes the assembly process of the device and ideas for its development. Well, the source code at the same time. In general, we try to make a full-fledged instruction for assembly, so that the repetition of the device causes as little difficulty as possible for a novice cyber-homemaker.

    We take ideas for projects from requests on our forum or on social networks. Well, or just realize our own dreams during working hours, insolently using our official position.

    During the manufacture of the device, with the electronic part and the code, everything is usually more or less clear. But the invention of the design itself is always a jump into the unknown. Here, all the precepts of Andrei Alexandrovich Bakhmetev, the heading “On a thread around the world” of the magazine “Model designer” and the advice of the fathers are used. Stones, scissors, paper, cardboard, stationery, glue, plastic bottles - all that can be found at hand. Or "get it."

    Of course, not everyone who wants to repeat the project will want to “get” the “matches and acorns” necessary for the construction. Especially when we fall into courage. The apotheosis of design madness was the case when we seriously considered the purchase of the old Kopek under such a project. As a result, let go - they made another project.

    For example, a small list of projects with used tools
    • Bottle duck fishing bluetooth boat

      Composition - plastic bottles from mineral water, a piece of thick copper wire;
    • MIDI Controller

      Composition - paint roller, roller for cleaning clothes, cardboard box;
    • Night monitoring of site availability

      Composition - a sheet of cardboard, a file for documents, a cardboard box;
    • Photo booth for cat

      Composition - several accounting folders, a plastic clamp, a candy wrapper, double-sided tape, a cat;

    Most often, we just need a case. Typically, the case is made of cardboard boxes from "Matryoshka", which we have heaped.

    The development cycle is two weeks long. These two weeks include inventing a device, developing an electrical circuit, developing a construct, writing code, debugging, shooting a video, and writing a wiki article.
    And sometimes...
    During device development with Lily Padwe slipped all the deadlines for a month. During this time, a bunch of conductive threads was spent, a method for sewing easily torn conductive thread at Grandma’s Singer was developed, a method for manufacturing a “double-sided board” on fabric was developed, a special lily-like board with two 74HC595 was made to increase the number of outputs. A method of emergency exit from depression has been side-developed. We tried to create a T-shirt with built-in tetris. And, despite the heroic efforts, Tetris never came out. Well, the Lily Pad is not intended for anything at least a little serious (for example, dynamic indication of an array of LEDs). As a result, tired of fighting several dozen short and half-short circuits from the inevitably fluffy conductive thread, we spat on everything and did what we did. Do not try to repeat this at home!

    Often the entire technical part is done by one person who is also engaged in technical support. Very often time is barely enough. And too much of the time is the manufacture of the structure.

    Problem # 2. Posting

    We manage to design and assemble everything mainly due to the use of Troyka-modules. These are special scarves that perform one simple function. They connect 3-wire cables to the Arduino using the Troyka Shield. We took ready-made modules, connected to Arduino - the circuit is ready, we write the code.

    Ordinary face capture

    If something is not in the form of triples, then a mini-breadboard and single postings are already in use. We try not to use soldering.

    If there are a lot of wires and they are located in a small volume, then a "jigurda" is formed (a term for internal use). With the use of three modules, the smile of the Dzhigurda is already floating in the air. If the number of modules is still increased, the "jigurd" quickly appears to the tip of the tail and loudly declares itself in verse. During my practice as a developer of such devices, I saw both a "jigurda" without a smile, and a smile without a "jigurda".

    With the appearance of the "dzhigurdy" greatly affects the appearance of the device. Sometimes it is easy to accidentally pull wires protruding from different places from the socket, and then strained to look for - where did this wire go? In such cases, you just need to somehow "comb the jigurd."

    The designer hurries to the rescue

    Small digression
    It should be noted that troyka-modules have unified dimensions of one unit - 2.54 × 2.54 cm. If the functional part does not fit on a site of this size, then the module is designed in size of two units. Thanks to this, the modules are conveniently connected into whole panels.
    When I drew the first details of the designer, just in case, I also painted special details for mounting one or two troyka-modules.

    I could not think of a specific application for the robot yet. But I thought - let them be. Later, while debugging the ride along the line, one application was finally found - it was very convenient to adjust the coefficients of the PID controller using the potentiometer module.

    Antenna like Bender from Futurama!

    At the very beginning of work on the designer, General Mikhail said that if it is impossible to assemble a cube from the designer, then this is not a designer. Well, we collected a cube. They called it “Sundae” and forgot it. Since then, this cube stood quietly peacefully on the table and was waiting in the wings. Two weeks ago we puzzled over a construct for the next project. Cyril in thought twisted the cube in his hands. And then it dawned on us - "Yes, we now have a constructor!" Well, they decided to plump the case directly from the Ice Cream. It turned out weird!

    As a result, we spent a minimum of time building the device. Here is such a technocube:

    Instructions for assembly .

    Thanks to the designer, we significantly reduced the time for manufacturing the device, and the entire "jigurda" was packed in a small volume and did not shine from there. The design turned out to be small, neat and pretty. We liked this thing so much that we decided to wrap all the components in a beautiful box, and put it on the shelf .
    What's on the shelf

    Gift for daughter

    Once, after shooting this video, I sat and, as always, sawed the robot. There were about 20 minutes until the end of the working day. I thought that somehow I had not spoiled my two-year-old daughter with gifts for a long time.
    She just recently began a crisis of two years. This is a well-known adolescent “NO ONE UNDERSTANDS ME !! 11”, but only in two years and without the majority of consonants. Therefore, she sometimes loves to scream. My wife and I came up with a simple way of counteraction - we start the chorus, smiling, screaming in response: "AAAAA!" Daughter laughs - the conflict is settled.
    Then my eyes fell on our cube, and the idea came to my mind: “What if you assemble a toy that you need to shout during the game?”

    1. He quickly picked up a noise sensor and a white super-nuclear LED from the shelf .
    2. Stuck Troyka Shield in Arduino. Sensors stuck in the shield:

      I spent more time drawing this diagram than building and programming a cube

    3. I wrote the simplest code so that the LED lights up when the microphone signal level is exceeded.
      The code does not deserve special attention, but for the sake of order I bring
      // Пломбирка-кричалка
      #define LED_PIN 10
      #define MICROPHONE_PIN A5
      void setup() {
        pinMode(LED_PIN, OUTPUT);
      void loop() {
        unsigned int val = 0;
        for (int i = 0; i < 4; ++i)
          val += analogRead(MICROPHONE_PIN);
        val >>= 2;
        if (val > 700)
          analogWrite(LED_PIN, map(analogRead(MICROPHONE_PIN), 0, 1023, 0, 255));
          analogWrite(LED_PIN, 0);

      The signal level at which the LED is triggered I set from the bulldozer. Then I set the desired level with the built-in potentiometer module directly under the voting daughter.
    4. Wrapped it all up in Sundae:

      That's how the cube is assembled. Unfortunately, 3D models of modules and Arduino are missing

    5. That, in fact, is all. The whole process took about 20 minutes. I threw it in my backpack and went home to enjoy the result:

    Simple, fast and beautiful. And it’s not so disappointing when, after the same 20 minutes of fun, the daughter turned to the puzzle with the ends.

    Cube versatility

    Yes, we all love to sit and dig deeper with the development of electrical circuits for LUT, with the debugging of interesting algorithms, with the design of beautiful cases for laser cutting from plexiglass or plywood. Well, or from fiberglass - someone like that.
    But sometimes you want to quickly get into some simple little thing. In this case, Arduino, Troyka Shield and Troyka-modules are a good way out of the situation. And if you add to this constructor, then the "jigurd" will not work. Yes, and you can give your child a hand without fear of the immediate destruction of the electrical circuit.

    And here thoughts come to my mind about the universality of the resulting cube. In principle, if you take a set of different Troyka-modules, Arduino and “seal”, you can very quickly assemble the device for a specific task. And there can be a ton of tasks.

    Wanted to assemble a thermostat? You are welcome! You take a module with a thermometer and a module with a relay, pack it in a filling - you get candy. For example, he wanted to collect ... uh ... hmm ... Something here the muse left me. Okay, let's do it this way - offer up to 4 units of troika modules and an idea for a device with them. If the majority likes the idea, a boxed technocube with a “seal” and the modules you propose will go to you. In a week I’ll write to whom the package will leave. In order not to turn everything into a good post, perhaps I will add all the ideas to the survey.

    PS If you are interested to see what we’ll invent this in two weeks, subscribe to our youtube channel AmperkaRu

    UPD That Friday has come. It's time to take stock.
    The competition was not a competition at all, but simply my thoughtless impromptu. Therefore, what happened is what happened. I will try to take into account all the wishes, and from now on I will take more responsibility to impromptu.

    Well, the cube goes to nemilya .
    Also, I could not remain indifferent to the ideas of AlNinyo and ivansimonov . Therefore, we decided to send two more dice on the trip.
    Thank you all for your participation and great ideas!

    PPS Today, on Instagram, I came across a photo of a cube that is already serving in Kaspersky Lab . Such things are always nice to watch. I hope the cube will warn them about the detection of threats.

    Only registered users can participate in the survey. Please come in.

    Ideas for filling (to whom the Technocub with additional modules will leave)

    • 32.7% Light sensor + LED = automatic night light from nemilya 19
    • 10.3% Tilt sensor + two multi-colored LEDs = flip indicator from dvserg 6
    • 5.1% Button + 2 LEDs + speaker = AlNinyo 3 music box
    • 25.8% IR receiver + 3 LEDs = AlNinyo 15 night light controlled by any remote control
    • 8.6% Squeaker + tilt sensor + red and green LED = AlNinyo 5 prediction cube
    • 0% Tilt sensor + tweeter + (optional LEDs) = laughing cube from ivansimonov 0
    • 5.1% light sensor + LED + four-digit indicator = odometer / speedometer for a hamster in the wheel from ivansimonov 3
    • 3.4% Light sensor + dc motor = vibrocube, afraid of light from ivansimonov 2
    • 5.1% Potentiometer + display + buzzer = kitchen timer by and7ey 3
    • 0% Tweeter + four-digit indicator + potentiometer = metronome cube by ivansimonov 0
    • 0% R + G + B LEDs + volume sensor = Guess a random color from ivansimonov 0
    • 0% LED + button + four-digit indicator = reaction speed meter from ivansimonov 0
    • 1.7% Detachment sensor + tweeter + LED = laser pointer target from ivansimonov 1
    • 1.7% 2 buttons + four-digit indicator = chess clock from ivansimonov 1

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