K-9 the Robot Dog
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Image by Extra Ketchup
K-9 is based on the robot dog in the sci-fi show, Doctor Who. However, my K-9 is a real, programmable, electronic robot (no radio control here, unless you count a wi-fi link to a laptop).
He is made of metal (see photo of his skeleton for details), is powered by a 12 volt lawn tractor battery, has an Intel Celeron processor for a brain (basically a stripped-down laptop), and is propelled by two windshield wiper motors connected to lawn mower wheels.
In the original design, he used an optical mouse interfaced with the floor via a spring-loaded tension system. The mouse sent detailed x/y position data to the computer. However, this waxed floor posed a problem for K-9, as the optics reflected at the wrong angles. I’m now moving to a traditional wheel encoder system.
He uses servos to move his tail and head. His tail can go up and down, left and right. His head can do the same. Eventually, I’ll hook up his ears to rotate via servo as well.
He is mentioned in Linux Journal and an older version can be seen in action from the following news clip on YouTube.
He’s no where near done yet, though the frame and body are mostly completed. There is MUCH to do in the area of electronics, sensors, artificial intelligence, etc. I’ll probably be tinkering with the old fellow for years to come!

setup
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Image by smax
This is m laptop, internet provided by my cell phone. Power supplied by a battery which is charged by a solar panel.

Grandpa
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Image by Daniel Dionne
Look, ma’, no computers!

So I finally got an iPad, thinking of my trip to Mexico next week. My laptop is too heavy, too big, and the battery is totally dead (even when it was new it only lasted for about two hours).
This is my first attempt at taking a picture, edit it and upload it to Flickr using only the iPad. I transferred the picture to the iPad with the camera connection kit (which works perfectly with my 7D), then edited it with PhotoForge (color balance, levels, contrast and slight vignette).

This is awesome.

By the way, my grandpa is about to turn 90 and he’s in fabulous condition :)


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