Program the IDs as shown in Figure 13. If you decide
to use different IDs, you will have to make modifications
to the various robot routines in order for them to
Connect the Actuators
Attach a four-position barrier strip in front of the
center actuator as shown in Figure 3. I used two #4 wood
screws. Later, we will use this to connect power to the
wheel assemblies. Next, take two RX- 64 connectors and
connect the two end actuators to the center actuator,
also shown in Figure 3. Notice how I used a cable clamp
to hold the cables close to the base. This is important as
you don't want the wires to snag on something and get
To connect the actuators on this wheel assembly to the
barrier strip, you need to take one of the female connectors
included with the RX- 64 actuator and attach four 12" wires.
I recommend using the colors shown in Figure 4. I also
recommend 22 gauge or larger wire. In Figure 4, the
rounded side of the connector is the one facing you. I used
a tool that I purchased at RadioShack to crimp the wires.
You can use a pair of needle nose pliers, as well. You will
need to create two of these connectors; one for each
Plug the connector you just created into the wheel
assembly. Plug it into actuator 3 on one assembly and 6 on
the other. Add a new cable clamp and connect the wires to
the barrier strip as shown in Figure 5. Use the order of
black, red, yellow, and white.
Last month, I showed you how to use the Ryobi 18V
battery shown in Figure 6 to power the Firebot. You can
use one for this project, as well. You can even use two —
one for each wheel assembly.
To show you an alternate configuration, I decided to
use a battery from a company called atbatt.com. It's the
Amstron 133 watt universal battery shown in Figure 7. This
battery has a whopping 9,000 mAh of power. Its output
can be set to 16 or 19 volts and it comes with its own
charger. Its low profile and weight makes it perfect for
robotic applications. You can even use it to power your
laptop for other projects. The battery will cost you about
the same as two of the Ryobi batteries.
Place the battery on the underside of the robot
between the two wheel assemblies as shown in Figure 8.
When I first started
this project, the power
source was the most
difficult obstacle I had to
overcome. In the course
of this project, I have
come up with two
options. Both involve the
use of Li-Ion batteries.