: We are seeking out 30 year old technology, because the hardware hasn't
: changed much since then and the Hero hardware was pretty advanced for
: it's time.
Serious question: Have you ever actually used a Hero-1 ? Because I built one
in my High School computer club, and it is not very advanced. This comment
: ahead of where I am now. I could be working strictly on advancing the AI
: code instead of still building encoders and saving up to purchase enough
: sonar modules.
make me think you haven't, because the Hero has only one encoder, a
striped-wheel disk on it's drive wheel. Looking at the only OAP release I
see (0.1, unless there is newer CVS code), it wants two drive motors with
quadrature encoders for differential drive.
Hero has a single drive motor with only a single reflector so it can only
count speed, it is NOT quadrature. There is a steering motor to turn the
drive motor, so right away you have to write a new motor_control_module for
this type of steering.
There is NO position feedback for the steering, head, or arm motors.
Possibly an end limit switch on some (I think steering only). All position
motors are steppers. On power up it runs through a (very very slow) home
routine where each motor is run to one end, then to it's mid position, by
If any position motor skips a step (which happens very easily), the Hero's
idea of where it's motors are and reality will no longer match, with
interesting results. At a High School fund raising dinner where we had Hero
mingling, he got so confused he started to pick up my (young, attractive,
female) History teacher's dress. It was even running on remote control at
the time and nothing I did got it to release, I end up reaching over and
dragging him out before anyone not on the robot team noticed.
(Yes, to this day no one believes it wasn't on purpose. It wasn't. I was a
good boy, and anyway my mother was standing right next to me. )
And the are slow. Really slow. Excruciating slow. Like watching grass grow
slow. With no appreciable strength in the gripper to make up for it. Of
course I was happy for this when it picked up Ms. Fox's dress.
(Yes, her name really was Ms. Fox. In an all boy's Catholic school).
Sonar: It has one Polaroid sensor. Wow. You can get the SRF05 for $25 now.
The body heat sensor is useless, as it points in a different direction from
the sonar. The sound sensor is a microphone.
So you get an aluminum frame with an incompatible drive system and a bunch
of stepper motors without the encoders you don't want to build.
Before starting on this I would get a hold of the manuals and schematics and
really go over them to make sure it has what you need.
Chris Candreva -- firstname.lastname@example.org -- (914) 967-7816
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