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back to article Register reader Ray revs radio-controlled Raspberry Pi race rover

As geeks worldwide continue to come up with inventive ways to deploy the hit Brit minikit Raspberry Pi, and the publication of a 101 uses for a...* guide is surely just a matter of time, Reg reader Ray Brooks has been in touch to show off his prototype carbot powered by the diminutive ARM-compatible computer. Ray is a JavaScript …

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Unhappy

URL?

Where is the cars URL?

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JDX
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Re: URL?

If they post it we'll crash his car

IGMC

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Happy

Re: URL?

Hey there! The car's not publicly available online, I'm afraid :) It's just a prototype

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Re: URL?

It's damned cool, though all the same.

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Happy

Anyone want one?

I trust the GPS position in the video was faked, or you'll have a queue round the block....

Great effort by the way, I didn't know Tamiya were still in business, I remember making their kits well over 30 years ago.

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2 Year Elec Eng Project

Anyone doing anything in the electrical engineering block at Birmingham Uni should have an advantage here: the 2nd year project is to build a line following robot, which are then raced. Ours was based on a PIC16F84, which should tell you something about how long ago I was at uni. Clever people did stuff with camera's and visual processing (which didn't work for most of them, and sure as hell wasn't run on a PIC16F84) efficient engineering types used arrays of light sensors.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 2 Year Elec Eng Project

Even lego nxt does line follow out of the box. the new ev3 will do gyro controlled segway style balance bot out of the box.

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Devil

Re: 2 Year Elec Eng Project

...and the really clever ones just buy something off of ebay.

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Re: 2 Year Elec Eng Project

I built a line follower so long ago it used a couple of VDRs and discrete analog components. None of these integrated circuit thinigies.

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Re: 2 Year Elec Eng Project

"based on a PIC16F84, which should tell you something about how long ago I was at uni"

Last week? When I was at Glasgow Uni we used discrete logic chips for that kind of thing. Or an interface to a PC where we'd write the code in Turbo Pascal. None of these fancy newfangled PIC things. ;)

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Vic
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Re: 2 Year Elec Eng Project

> I built a line follower so long ago it used a couple of VDRs and discrete analog components

Yep. I built one like that in 'O' level Physics.

Getting the illumination level right turned out to be important, so I built an ALC out of the three outputs. And then a voltage comparator on that output to detect the front end going over a step :-)

Vic.

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Re: 2 Year Elec Eng Project

Mine was based on flint, we didn't have any of this new-fangled bronze technology back then

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Silver badge

Re: 2 Year Elec Eng Project

White-line following cars? How very 70s! ;)

I remember seeing a circuit for a white-line following model car in an ETI magazine back in 1979 or thereabouts. Only that one didn't use complex computer chips or software; as I recall, it simply consisted of two side-by-side phototransistors either side of a light bulb, feeding into an op-amp-based voltage comparator, which in turn fed current to the steering servo, according to which one of the phototransistors was receiving more light from drifting over the white line than the other. No CPUs or software involved, just a basic electronic feedback loop consisting of a handful of resistors, capacitors, transistors and a cheap op-amp IC (an LM 3900 IIRC.)

These days the solution wold consist of a billion-transistor CPU, a gig of RAM, a CCD camera and ten thousand lines of optical-recognition code to achieve the same result!

(Reg, we seriously need a "Get off o' my lawn" icon for us old farts that remember this shit...)

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Thumb Up

Re: 2 Year Elec Eng Project

Remember Squee? Gernsback's light follower as published in Popular Electronics in the '50's using VALVES.

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Vic
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Re: 2 Year Elec Eng Project

> two side-by-side phototransistors

Three is better - two tends to make it hunt...

Vic.

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g e
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Go

Raspberry Pi Cookbook surely?

As an homage to R A Penfold (IIRC)

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Anonymous Coward

Old Android Phone + Arduino

Could have got pretty much everything he needed by buying a 20 quid used android phone and an arduino :)

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Re: Old Android Phone + Arduino

Yeah, all the hardware is there but it would have been a real PITA to program. The purpose of it being built in Javascript is that the coding is easy and therefore I won't get furious trying to work around undocumented proprietary hardware drivers, which is what many Droids are full of :)

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Re: Old Android Phone + Arduino

Easier still, he could have bought a radio controlled car. Or easiest of all, he could have sat on his arse and done nothing.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Old Android Phone + Arduino

Mmm not sure how my android phones you've worked with but it's actually really easy to get access to all the sensors and such like. No need to worry about hardware drivers or anything of the like, just use android ADB.

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Re: Old Android Phone + Arduino

Well, quite a bit as it happens. A few years ago, I was one of the first to do host mode on the HTC Desire, a video demo of which you can find on my YouTube account. However, I wanted to build a robot that would be portable and super fast to prototype in, which is why I chose Javascript.

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@Ray0x6

Nice project - it beats the shnizzle out of my rather boring media dohickey

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Pint

For the love of gawd...

...tidy up that wiring. :-)

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Happy

Re: For the love of gawd...

The minute he does, it will stop working...

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Looks like he invented time travel too...

March 12 2013!

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Re: Looks like he invented time travel too...

Are you sure? Cool as this is I doubt it'll manage 88mph.

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Nifty, but the camera is missing of course

To bad USB cameras don't work well with the PI. Ohh and maybe one can add UMTS, so it's truly mobile. :)

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Happy

Re: Nifty, but the camera is missing of course

Sad fact! Happy fact is that there is a camera for the Pi coming out very soon! And yes, I will be getting one!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nifty, but the camera is missing of course

It needs a GoPano type lens attachment on the Pi Cam! - and suitable image decoding...

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Go

just needs to fit one of these ...

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/11/01/wicked_lasers/

then it won't matter if other cars get in front of it -- they won't be there for long !

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Re: just needs to fit one of these ...

I'm waiting for the lawnmower attachment.

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Re: just needs to fit one of these ...

Yeah, I saw that! The one I have and plan to attach is only 100mW (10% power of that kriton beast) but easily enough to blind at short range. It will be used for range sensing, however(!)

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Anonymous Coward

Dude, you can't fit a 100mW laser to a mobile object in meatspace!

You'll have people's eyes out!

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Re: Dude, you can't fit a 100mW laser to a mobile object in meatspace!

It'll be 4 inches off the ground... should be safe enough. probably. uh.

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Great fun project.

Just ignore the snipers that probably aren't actually doing anything better themselves.

Oh, and you need some black and white chequered 'go-faster' tape down the sides :)

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DJV
Happy

50 Fun Raspberry Pi Recipes?

Or even "50 Shades of Pi"

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I have to wonder

Separate servo controller when the Arduino has more servo channels than you can shake a stick at?

Nice car though. My own Arduino is still sat here waiting for me to think of something to do with it.

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RRRRRR!

"Register reader Ray revs radio-controlled Raspberry Pi race rover"

That's some nice alliteration, good work!

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Great idea but…

node.js for the control system, seriously? Whatever works for you, I guess and it really is a most impressive project.

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Happy

Get with it Grandad! Swap that old-fashioned NiCD/NiMH stick and brushed motor for a LiPo and brushless - you'll get far less emf electrical interference as the BL doesn't spark across the commutator.

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Now this is what a Raspberry Pi should be good at

Forget all the tenuous and ill-informed teaching-coding-in-schools crap, for which the Pi is a truly terribly idea.

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Childcatcher

Aargh! Alliteration Warning

Help!

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Slides and video featuring this project from the recent talk at MLOC.JS

VIDEO: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/29300995

SLIDES: http://www.slideshare.net/rayui/scaling-into-meatspace-a-javascript-engineers-persepctive

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