ID4 - My Autonomous Robot


ID4  //  Comments

ID4 Front View

ID4 - Front view

ID4 [he first sprang to life on July 4, 1999 - get it? Independence Day - 4th of July] was built on a 7.5" diameter 3/8" smoked acrylic base using two servos modified for continuous rotation [differential drive]. He has an InfraRed Proximity Detector (IRPD) for vision [but no feeler switches which he sorely needs], photocell array for light seeking/avoiding, speech board for voice, and a X10 Firecracker for controlling the lights in the house.

The controller is a Basic Stamp2 clone [a Homebrew Stamp on a pcb]. I developed the SPO256 Speech Board to work with this controller so ID4 could have a voice.

ID4 Front-top view

ID4 - Front-top view

I never got wall-following to work, but he can usually find his way [eventually] out of an enclosed area or find the brightest or darkest spot and then nervously twitch in place. I successfully got all of this behavior into one program [subsumption-like] and he can actually talk while driving!

ID4 Rear View

ID4 - Rear View

I only recently put him back together and got some pics... The BS2 was being used to interface a keypad with IR LED to make a Furby Remote. You'll have to bug my son Joey for more info on this.


ID4 Comments:

You can see the speech board in the two front views [the board with the green LED]. It is just stuffed in there pending a design for proper mounting. The bundle of brown & black wires on top is for the speech board. [I'm hoping to reduce that to only 3 wires with the 12C509 PIC.]
Upon power up, he announces, "Robot Ready!" and then randomly speaks:
  • That does not compute.
  • Hello, I am a Basic Stamp Robot.
  • Danger, Danger, Will Robinson.
  • Guten Tag! [German for 'Hello'. I guess that means ID4 is bi-lingua1!]


  • He also has provisions for being polite. If his IRPD detects something straight ahead with both sensors, ID4 backs up, and [will soon] say one of the following:
  • Excuse me.
  • Pardon me.
  • Entschuldigen Sie! [More German for 'Excuse me'.]

    You can also make out the IRPD. The IR LEDs have black tubes over them and the detector has a black baffle so he won't see the reflection off of the floor.

    The Photocell array board is taped on top of the IR detector.

    The Firecracker is visible in the rear view - it is the 1" square PCB on the right side of the BS2 clone board. When he turns the light off, he announces, "Kris is in the dark", and then "Time to wake up, Kris" when he turns it back on.

    The speaker has a plastic cover [part of a plastic blister pack from a ceiling fan light bulb package] which serves to protect the speaker's paper cone. It has the added benefit of increasing the sound volume!

    The ping pong ball is actually the tail wheel on a U-bracket. Instead of a caster wheel, the ping pong rolls on a horizontal axis. When ID4 turns - differential drive style - the ball just slides sideways and then rolls again under forward or backward movement.

    The switch is double-throw. When thrown towards the batteries, the servos are energized and ID4 can move. When thrown to the left, the servos are not energized - this makes it MUCH easier when debugging and actual motion is not required!

    He has a switch for changing modes from simple obstacle avoidance, to light-seeking and dark-seeking. He also tells you [via speech board] what mode he is in.

    Missing - still - are his bump switches for those times when the IRPD fails him! [usually from running into things at an oblique angle]

    With the recent addition of the speech board and speaker, he has become a little front-heavy. Whenever he backs up, he tips and looks like he is doing a wheely, dragster style. I hope to fix that when I mount some rechargeable batteries on his underside instead of the alkalines on his top under the BS2 board. You can't quite see his 9v battery for the BS2 underneath in the rear.



    This page made of 100% recycled bits.
    Edited (as my 12-year son brags of his web pages) with Notepad.