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OUBot Get PDF file reader
A Prototype Robot for a new Open University course on robotics

A proof-of-concept robot has been built for the Department of Design and Innovation at the Open University. Based on a PIC 16F627 microcontroller, it features a line of 16 reflective IR sensors underneath and the firmware allows simple patterns to be scanned and the data passed via an IR comms link to a PC for processing.

Commands are sent to the robot via the IR link. Windows HyperTerminal is used to send commands and receive data on the PC.

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Manual for OUBot Manual PDF 273 kb
NovaBot Explorer
A 4WD articulated robot explorer prototype for iBOTZ
Two prototype NovaBots have been linked together mechanically using a flexible coupling, and electrically via a 10-way ribbon cable. The castors are removed. The standard firmware automatically assigns Master status to the lead unit. Communication between the two units is via a two-wire I2C serial bus. Commands received on the Master's remote IR comms link are passed on to the slave(s) on the I2C bus.


NovaBot Explorer climbs over an obstacle
Table Explorer
A simple robot that will avoid obstacles and not fall off the table
This design shows what can be done with minimal electronic sophistication. In this case, the robot 'brain' is a cheap dual comparator chip - no microcontroller!

The 'feelers' on the front perform two functions: close a switch when they hit an object and close when they fall over the table edge. When a switch closes, the motor on that side reverses for a preset time before returning to normal. The result is uncannily intelligent.....

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Table-Top Explorer

Circuit Diagram Table1 PDF 17 kb
A light-hungry robot that will head towards a bright light
Another simple robot based on a dual comparator chip. This time, a phototransistor on each side  turns on the opposite motor swinging the vehicle towards the light source.

There is no elaborate control system here so the robot swerves from side to side as it heads towards the light. A couple of pots allow the sensitivity to be tuned.

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A light-following robot

Circuit diagram Photovore1 PDF 17 kb
Remote Control for NovaBot
A handheld IR remote control and PC link
This box performs the functions of both remote control and IR communications link to a PC. The design uses a PIC 16F627 device and allows the operator to activate NovaBot's in-built programs or to 'drive' the robot manually using a steering wheel. An internal preset jumper link selects one of two coded channels allowing two robots to be controlled by independent remotes. Operation of a slide switch turns the unit into an IR communications base station connected to a serial COM port of a PC. A Windows control panel can be used to perform the function of the remote control and also permit user programs to be downloaded to the robot or data uploaded.


NovaBot Remote Control Unit
Manual for NovaBot Remote Manual PDF 1074 kb
Software for NovaBot Remote Assembler source ASM 8 kb
A game for the British Museum COMPASS project. Sutton Hoo Helmet Jigsaw
Internet Jigsaw Puzzle Play
Allow up to 45 seconds for the jigsaw pieces to appear with a 56K modem.
CD Player
A new life for old CD-ROM drives with IDE interface
Student Project Report Report PDF 84 kb
CD Player software Software ASM 16 kb
Commitment Accounting Database
An Access database providing basic facilities for keeping track of expenditure and income for multiple simultaneous projects. Contact me for more information.

ULAS Accounting Main Menu