Completion of Phase 1

A project log for Hacking the Meccano M.A.X.

Meccano M.A.X. is a 30cm tall toy robot that is fun to build. This project aims to convert it into a machine vision robot.

mrdreambotMrDreamBot 08/25/2018 at 04:490 Comments

I have published my MeccaChannel Arduino library to Github and included a UML class diagram to make it easy to understand. There are a couple of unsupported features:

  1. Learned Intelligent Movement (L.I.M.) programming which allows you to create and record animations by physically moving the robot
  2. Meccano M.A.X.'s Infra-red Distance Sensor (Class provided but not yet working)

Although the support for Meccano M.A.X. devices is incomplete. They are sufficient for me to move on to the next phase as I shall be using computer vision instead of an IR sensor for navigation in Phase 2. But this does not mean I am not going to add the missing features later.

If you are reading the source code, you should note that I am using GOF's Chain of Responsibility Design Pattern to loose-couple MeccaChannel with the M.A.X. devices. MeccaChannel implements the Meccano Smart Protocol with extension for the M.A.X. motors and Face. Each MeccaChannel will require an Arduino digital pin and supports up to 4 devices. 

On the M.A.X., the 4 channels are used for:

In Phase to, I am going to use the HiCAT Livera camera and motor driver (mainly for power supply and easy connection to the channels instead of using its 4 inbuilt motor drivers). The Arduino library will be running on hiCAT Livera's Arduino Leonardo comptible and the camera will be managed by Livera's embedded Linux. Livera also has built-in WIFI and a web server. Stay tuned for my next update.