The entire experience was very cool and reminded me
of all those movies from the early ‘80s where you had a
camera on a remote submersible like "The Abyss" or on the
soldier's helmets in "Alien." I love it when things like that
happen, and a project turns out different but cooler than
what you originally planned.
I think it's important to be flexible enough to allow for
things to develop and grow on their own. These sorts of
happy amalgamations show that you should take a chance
and build your idea. Don't let it sit and suffocate as just an
idea. Be fearless and give it life.
Putting Everything Together
As with other projects, I built and tested each of the
subsystems individually before combining them. This
allowed for easier troubleshooting and debugging. I did
have one major hiccup while shooting the demonstration
video that makes for a good cautionary story. It was a hot,
humid Iowa day and I didn't have a cover on the circuit
board of the controller.
Everything was going well, but I was starting to sweat
and a large drop landed right onto the naked Propeller
chip and everything just stopped. "Oh, no!" I thought.
I quickly went inside and wiped it off, and let it sit for
a couple of hours. I tried it again and it still wasn't
working. I set it aside and tried it again the next day. Still
nothing. I didn't have any spare Propeller prototyping
boards lying around, so I ordered one. It took a couple of
days for the new prototyping board to arrive because I
had chosen the cheaper shipping method.
Once the replacement board arrived, I decided to
check the original board one more time before I started
moving parts, and ... it worked! It must have needed
those extra couple of days to completely dry out.
I guess the moral of the story is, cover your circuit
boards and be cheap? Regardless, the controller now
sports a Plexiglas cover and the video, "Nuntius vs. the
Weed" is now online for your enjoyment.
This month, I explained why Nuntius was built and
briefly described the robot and its unique controller. Next
month, we’ll take a closer look at how the robot and
controller were built. SV
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