Too Quiet in the Robotics Forum

erco

Senior Member
#1
I really like PICAXE chips and think they are a great option for beginning roboticists to use, but I'm amazed how little activity there is here on the official site. I'm doing my part, teaching classes, writing articles, making videos, trying to spread the PICAXE gospel. But there are scant replies to many posts here. I don't see any push from Rev Ed here in the US. I fear this trickle of activity just isn't sustainable much longer. Starting to wonder if I backed the wrong horse. Are there any new products or teaching initiatives on the horizon? What's going to lure kids and new consumers in amongst all of the Arduino/RasPi noise?
 

Bill.b

Senior Member
#2
Hi Erco

I don't think picaxe robots are dead yet.

I am still working on my bot when I get time. I have just received a SPE 035 module to give it a voice.

I will post a full description when it is completed.

Some of its features are:-

Modes-
Remote Control (radio control)
Free Roaming
Wall Follower
Light Follower
Light Avoidance
Teach and playback
line follower.
Follow Me
Onboard video Camera and Tx.

This is the current schematic and picture of the bot

bigbot7.jpg
bigbot2.JPG

Bill
 

erco

Senior Member
#3
Looks like a neat robot, Bill. Glad to hear from another fanboy. Make plenty of noise here when you're up & running. It's clearly up to us to blow our own horns.

Robots are never really finished, just in various phases of functionality.
 

Technical

Technical Support
Staff member
#5
It's worth considering that it is actually only a tiny fraction of PICAXE users who ever come to the forum at all. A simpler to use system = far more people just 'getting on with it' without the need for any forum support.
 

erco

Senior Member
#6
It's worth considering that it is actually only a tiny fraction of PICAXE users who ever come to the forum at all. A simpler to use system = far more people just 'getting on with it' without the need for any forum support.
It's great to hope that the passive "laissez faire" approach will work, but don't kid yourself. Robotics is multi-disciplinary and very difficult/intimidating compared to flashing an LED and printing "Hello World" on an LCD. Great things rarely happen all by themselves, even if all the right pieces appear to be in place. IMHO Rev Ed should take a more active approach to driving people to the forum to create interest and demand. Marketing, advertising, banging the drum. Partner up with someone. Get involved in the hacker movement. Disruptive is good. You have terrific products but nobody knows about them, not here in the States anyway. Seems like you're missing a huge market. This forum is the perfect controlled environment to be a nurtured, cultivated showcase of interactive projects and weekend tutorials. Have a contest to see what your Bot 120 can do. Have active, dynamic projects, daily deals, spotlight on, fun things that people don't want to miss. Yep, it means staffing up, web development dollars, etc. But the upside potential is amazing. You miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
 
#8
Robots are never really finished, just in various phases of functionality.
Oh, so true!

The clue to my main interest is in my username.
I've published a couple of finished projects on this forum but the unfinished ones are still waiting. Sort of says it all really!
I too was a little disappointed with the activity in this section right from the outset but I think it might be because robot builders don't really need so much help with their project rather that they need help with specific aspects such as sensors. Speaking for myself, I only ever research completed robots out of general interest and not to glean new ideas. However, I do spend ages looking up very specific aspects of very specific functional areas.

My advice to people wanting to build a robot is NOT to try and design a robot from scratch.
First, design and build a platform that can move.
Then design and build a set of sensors that can detect what your robot needs to do.
Then integrate the two.

I will post a full description when it is completed.
That's probably true for most of us. Problem is, it's never finished!
 
#10
Don't be too discouraged, we are out here.
This is my first post here but I come found a background in electronics and computing. Now retired, I've just finished building a CNC router for my wood working hobbies.
Now looking to interest a 7 year old grandson in electronics and software and plan on building one of the Picaxe kit bots for him for xmas to see if I can start a new generation working in the area.
I don't expect to need much help but will be looking at the forum every so often to just stay in touch.
I like the look of Bill.b s robot but it's way too advanced for a 7 year old, don't want to frighten him off

Regards Bob
 

erco

Senior Member
#11
Welcome Bob! Your CNC router project sounds very interesting, certainly a robot of sorts. Is it anything Picaxe-related you can share? Please feel free to post anything robotic here. Don't let the "Finished Projects" category put you off, I think that needs to be corrected to "Works in Progress", which is how I view it. Any activity is better than no activity. WRT 7-year olds, robots are an easy sell. As you said, consider your audience and start with bite-sized projects. Before long, he'll be hooked!
 

hbl2013

Senior Member
#14
@bill.b Would you mind publishing the code as far as you have it? I am working on a similar project and like to see how you perform certain tasks in the program.
 
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Bill.b

Senior Member
#15
Hi hbl2013

I have changed some functions of the bot since the last posting.

1. The remote control is now Bluetooth using a HC-06 module.
2. The video camera is now a 2 mgp WiFi (extracted from an old quadcopter).

I have not completed all the voice messages as yet and the learn / teach function has not been upgraded for the Bluetooth control.

Here is the updated schematic and the app display on my tablet for the remote control.

bigbot-BLT.jpg

bigbotControl.jpg

The program uses the 4 available slots of the 40x2.


Bill
 
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