I successfully combined three of my recent passions into one tonight: cheap line follower robots, the magnificent 555 timer, and using copious amounts of alarmingly cheap Ebay China parts. I've been saying for ages that we're foolish for not using 4-cent 555 timers and multiple nickel photocells in every project. Well, that's nearly all I used here. I hacked one of the $5 Ebay line follower kits. Tossed the 393 comparator, two trimpots, two driver transistors, and four resistors. Now one 555 does it all: reads two photocell line sensors and drives two motors. Minimalism rules. Beau & PhiPi et al: any way to do it cheaper yet?
"When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."
- Pablo Picasso