Chip III

Next Generation Robotics Platform

Project Sections
Project overview
My tools and equipment
The robot!
News and Information

I've finally posted a mostly complete schematic of the drive controller board on the "robot" page of this site, along with some descriptions of it. As far as the actual robot, I've finally gotten back to work on the body. I've also begun the design of the power controller board. I guess that means I've gotta start taking some pictures and post them.

I now have a mostly complete drive controller subsystem board. Since I made schematics before building it, I should have them posted in due time. I just have to update them to reflect all the changes and additions made when actually building the thing. The idea behind this new design is modularization, unlike the last one. Basically, I'll have independent modules for each subsystem, which communicate with the central "brain" through a CAN bus. This first module, the drive controller, currently has everything it needs to control the drive system. It also has some CAN circuitry, but that won't be finished or tested until I aquire more hardware with which to interface with it. (probably an RS-232 to CAN dongle in the interim)

...a month or two later...
Well, the drive train is done now, and is working very well. Powered tests show it running more smoothly, using an acceptable amount of current, and carrying much more weight than the Chip II drive train could ever hope for. This will certanly make for a good solid foundation. Now I just need to get around to posting CAD drawings and/or photos.

For the past few months I've been procrastinating on this project. Basically, being split between robots and my more recent obsession with computer hardware, I found myself unwilling to spend the money. However, since at the end of the day, I find robot building to be more satisfying, I finally decided to commit to the project. Last night I forced myself to order the motors and a DC/DC convertor from Marlin P. Jones. Today I got some materials at Home Depot, and made the overpriced order to Small Parts Inc. for gears and drive fittings. There's no turning back now. From this point forward, to cease the project would be to let too much money go to waste.

Well, after a weekend of looking at vendor sites for motors and playing with CAD, the body design is coming together. I'll probably get 3D pictures and/or VRML of the work in progress on this site shortly.

I just recently pulled my old robot out of the basement where I had stored it over the summer, and noticed that the moisture has caused the gears to begin to rust. Realizing that I've wanted to start over and "do it right", I've decided to end that project in favor of a new one. This new robot will build on the knowledge I've gained over the past few years, and try to do better in many areas. Now, I have many resources available to me that I didn't in the past. They range from CAD software, to a machine shop, to an electronics club.

Questions? Comments? Write me at