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Thread: How to control a motor
face BY : Dan Michaels email (remove spam text)

Tom Handley wrote:
>   Dan, the mechanical `slop' is terrible in the R/C cars that I've seen.
>The tank that Radio Shack offers for around $50 looks promising with two
>motors for the treads. For me, it's an excuse to study motor control as I
>have very little experience there. I may add ultrasonic sensors in addition
>to the IR. Still, it's a `sloppy' platform and it's main purpose is to
>freak-out the cat ;-)

Hi Tom,

[hmmm - I don't need a robot to freak the neighbor's cat - squirrels
in my backyard drive it crazy already].

By "slop", you mean backlash in the drive mechanism, or something else ????

Am not sure this would be a big problem for what I would like to do
- mainly obtain a mobile platform that I could add a few sensors to,
and which would form the foundation for playing with "higher" functions,
such as rudimentary learning, fuzzy logic control, neural net learning,

Idea would be to have the thing traipsing around on its own and sorting
out behavior that favors survival. Basically, something patterned after
Rodney Brooks' work - simple robust platforms with multiple layers of
control arranged hierarchically, and which co-opt lower level functions
as they are added:


"A Robust Layered Control System for a Mobile Robot"
"A Robot That Walks; Emergent Behaviors from a Carefully Evolved Network"
"Intelligence for Miniature Robots"
"Elephants Don't Play Chess"

[I figure multiple PICs headed by a king-Scenix - he, he].

Also, another reason I like the RC-car idea is that you could have 2
RC transmitters on different frequencies, put the 2nd one on the car
itself, and use it to xmit status info back to the base station
chimputer. Now that xmas/crazybuyingtime is here again, and new
RC-cars are on the shelves, it's time to look around again.

>   Speaking of Parallax, I can't believe the price they charge for that
>little robot... As far as web sites, I only found one a long time ago and I
>forgot where it was. I was looking at R/C servo hacks to give them
>continuous rotation. I found a lot of info on that subject.

Yeah, I have always wondered how Parallax can stay in business at
the prices they charge, but ha - they're lots richer than me. Also,
I have looked at a number of mobile platforms for sale from robo-sites,
but they are all all extremely to-heavy designs, simple platforms on
wheels, and selling for >$250, or tiny little things.

Don't know if you caught this link, but this is an interesting mobile
job, albeit a little steep at $5000 -[and somehow connected with


Still haven't found anything on RC-car robo-hacks.

best regards,
- Dan Michaels
Oricom Technologies

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