REVIVING A SHOWBOT
Robot Workshop — Author’s website
Airtronics — Manufacturer of new
radio used for ARTI revival project
Vantec — Supplier of dual R/C
Tower Hobbies — Supplier of R/C
gear (Airtronics radio)
they showed up at my door. They
were supposed to come as matched
pairs Model A with Model B or Model
D with Model E. It was a pleasant
surprise that the pair which arrived
just happened to be on the same
frequency as the one in the robot.
According to the manual, these
are supposed to have a range of up to
1/4 mile which would work fine for the
robot. Just adding a new 9V battery for
the one I was going to use did it! I
could talk through ARTI and hear what
people were saying to the robot. ARTI
only projects the operator’s voice as-is.
I suspect that they may have
customized the transmitter portion of
the original unit so that it could sound
like a real person or (by flipping a
switch sound) more like a robot. That is
a project I may tackle down the road
after using the robot a bit more.
The Future for ARTI
Reviving ARTI and getting the
robot fully functional again was a really rewarding and worthwhile project. It
was all done without having to hack up
or modify the original robot. There are
a few upgrades that could be done to
the robot without any major changes.
One is to check out the two
unused pins on the larger 3 x 5 connector. I have a feeling they may turn on a
device whenever the stick for the throttle is all the way down instead of up for
the tape. This could enable the original
controller to drive one more device.
Another option may be to use the
extra two channels on the new radio
gear to control other features. The
addition of either a large servo or DC
gear motor could allow the head to
turn back and forth. There are a lot of
options for improvements.
Down the road, I plan to use ARTI
to do several interesting things. He is
going to make an appearance at the
local kindergarten class to talk about
robots. ARTI may also help out with the
candy duties for different holidays.
In the meantime, he has been a
huge hit with the kids just reading
some books on tape. In particular, the
read-along Star Wars tape and book
sets have been entertaining and helps
teach kids to read. SV
You know it wants one. Go ahead, spoil your robot. Give it the brain and the brawn to take on other robots.
Give your robot the power to do anything it can imagine.
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60 SERVO 01.2008