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My Silly Robot — Parallax Forums

My Silly Robot

ercoerco Posts: 20,214

Lowest-tech robot here, guaranteed, but it's Friday and since I have no other projects I can share...

Nary a figure 8 to be seen... :(

I just learned that my video won the open division of a Winter-Olympics themed "Edison" robot contest. Edison robot is a simple little Aussie educational robot. It was a very open-ended, "impress us with your creativity" contest, just the kind of challenge I like. Since I had one of these robots already and 2 hours to kill...

The target audience was young students, but it was open to all and the "open division" was for teachers & adults. First video is the student winner, second is another student entry, last is mine. They haven't yet disclosed all the other videos, which should be interesting to watch when they do.


  • It's good to see the crowd pull a competitor through a tough competition. Congratulation on your win.

    There's a review of the Edison on the Amazon page by Herbert Sauro. Can you confirm the things he says about the robot?

    If Herbert is correct, then it sure seems like the robot could be improved by making it more open.

    Thanks for sharing the videos. I feel embarrassed it's been so long since I've posted a robot video.

  • ercoerco Posts: 20,214

    Yes, that review is spot on. I've had one for years but quite frankly I was disappointed with it, both in hardware and software. Supposedly it has speed control (PWM) but it is very poor, always too fast & jerky... Impossible to get any accuracy or repeatability. Only one line sensor underneath, so it's a jerky (bang-bang) edge follower. "Lego compatible" in that there are pegs on top to connect bricks. But no electrical expansion is possible. What IS novel is that the programming cable is really an audio cable to send data via an IR LED. The cable mechanically connects to the bottom line sensor which receives IR. On the PC, the cable plugs into the audio/headphone jack, which avoids USB compatibility & drivers. But it's one way communication from PC to robot, you can't get robot data back to the PC.

    It's a reasonable path in for first-timers and young students to start learning robotics but a dead-end after a while. Certainly no threat to any of our beloved Scribbler robots. Even an original blue Scribbler is much more engaging.

    Nonetheless, simple robots and simple contest tech challenges encourage broader audiences to compete. Nothing wrong with a back-to-BASICs approach. I would support some simple, fun Scribbler robot contests, or even a BS-1 contest along these lines just to get people's creative juices flowing.

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