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Despite the clear lack of project documentation by me, progress on TyroBot is still underway albeit less due to school. Some main points on progress since Auguest:
- TyroBot board v2 is functioning *almost* perfectly, but there are errors yet to be resolved.
- TyroBot can walk in a straight line and turn, functionally equivalent to other 4 DOF bipeds.
- Arm and head servos function properly, although no practical use, yet.
- Accelerometer communication up and running, but forgot pull up resistors so board modification for v3 required.
- SPI port working fine.
- ESP8266 communication established, but concerns raised. I'll talk more on that later.
- Touchscreen displays are a heap of trouble.
With the board working and the robot moving around exquisitely, I decided to shift focus to the human user interface. In the above picture, TyroBot is aesthetically complete, but the touchscreen is yet to be operational and the electronics are seen in the background.
One of the main goals of this project is usability. TyroBot in its name references the newbie. When complete, TyroBot will be printable on a bed of only 4"^3, and can be assembled with only a small screw driver. Other robots like this exist, but no robot will compare when it comes to software.
One of the biggest advantages TyroBot will have to other robots is its software. TyroBot will not force the user to copy and paste code from stack overflow or be limited with an iPhone app. TyroBot will be programmed either from an IDE similar to Arduino (but better) or directly from the the display on the robot's face. My current challenge is getting the display to work.
Instead of a static face like many robots, TyroBot's face will be a flat 2.8" touchscreen display. This will allow me or the user to change TyroBot's expression or robot settings without the need of an external computer or phone. I've convinced displays from ebay already on PCB's to work, and am in the process of designing TyroBot's rev 3 board to work with the displays out of the box. Instead of using the 40 pin ili9341 displays Adafruit uses, I will be using 18 pin variants like the ones found on the red ebay boards. If anyone has done this before, let me know, I need all the help I can get.