So What Did Santa Bring You (in hackable toys that is)?

So with the holidays behind us, it is time to put away the decorations and to get down to sacrificing that latest toy to the Robotic Gods.
What toys, electronic gizmos and holiday dumpster finds did Santa send your way this year?
I eagarly await to hear of your discoveries. ;<)
TMT
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So, did everyone get coal this year? LOL
One observation I did make is that Walmart is not carrying the large tank toy this year...that was a good hackable model.
TMT
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Too_Many_Tools wrote:

My local Walmat had a 1/9th scale M1 Abrams tank that was about the same size as last year's 1/6th Stuart tank. I think they still have some.
From what I've heard the motors are quite powerful. -- D. Jay Newman http://enerd.ws/robots /
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On Tue, 10 Jan 2006 22:58:12 -0500, D. Jay Newman wrote:

I just picked up one of these. They are powerful, but noisy. I guess its the gearbox that's noisy. I'm going to be converting it, I'll be pulling out the radio and use my own radio link + controller + h-bridges.
Here's a photo of it unmodified:
http://www.bdmicro.com/m1a/m1a.jpg
Who has converted one of these? If you used encoders for odometry, what did you use?
Thanks, -Brian
--
Brian Dean
ATmega128 based MAVRIC controllers
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Brian Dean wrote:

Are those jointed plastic tracks? Hmmmmmm I don't know about those, would be nearly impossible to repair or replace. The rubber ones seem like they would be more durable.
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cbm5 wrote:

Rubber is more prone to stretch. Can be a bad thing on heavier vehicles during turns. Even with keepers the tracks pop off.
Apart from metal, a single-piece rubber with fiber reinforcement (to limit stretch) is probably the best and most durable all-around, but these are hard to find, unless you own a conveyor belt company.
-- Gordon
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Gordon McComb wrote:

Funny you should mention that...*ahem* though I'm far from owning it.
Actually one of our products has to use a metal and plastic jointed belt at high speeds. When something goes really wrong, metal goes flying. What you end up with is a catastrophic failure without any real warning. And you need to have replacement parts to fix it.
A rubber belt, even without fiberglass, at least gives you warning signs. Either it shows obvious wear, or as it stretches you just need to check the tension and adjust when necessary. On a treaded robot probably the easiest way is to have a pulley in a slot that pushes down on the top of the belt. If the belt falls off you can put it back on, (usually) no harm done. And figure out a better idler arrangement.
Of course when I think of treaded homebuilt robots I am thinking of smaller platforms using timing belts. No more than 20 pounds fully loaded. I have an even smaller one, I used treads from an old radio-controlled toy.
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So is anyone hacking a Robosapiens?
TMT
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Yes, there are plenty of people working on that. You might want to look at e.g.:
http://www.robosapien.tk /
and
http://sourceforge.net/projects/robodance /
HTH - Peter
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Are there any hackable vehicles that stood out in this year's offerings of toys?
I seem to see alot of larger car/truck offerings but they seem to be more for "on road" (parking lot aka clear flat surface) than "off road" use.
With all the products playing to the retro interests of the baby boomers, I am suprised that someone hasn't done a Heathkit or R2D2 remake.
TMT
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I got kitted out with some nice poison. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Ashley Clarke -------------------------------------------------------
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