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Author Topic: Collecting parts  (Read 1011 times)

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Offline KillerwolfbotTopic starter

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Collecting parts
« on: February 15, 2011, 08:13:53 PM »
Hello, I'm fairly new to the wonderful world of robotics. I would like to start a collection of usefull parts. Being new to robotics I should probably ask as many questions as I can so here goes.

How do you feel abot junk parts? I know alot of people don't like them but why waste? I have an old Verizon evny 2 phone. Is it worth taking apart for the screen, camera or anything else? Also what if i had an old desktop computer, what parts could come from that? Is it worth pulling a microcontroler from a VCR or am I better off buying a new one?

What would be the best parts to collect?

The main reason I want to start collecting parts is I want to build a fully atonamas humanoid robot maybe 4-5 feet tall, capable of speach, you know the good stuff. But I know a project like that is way out of my leage and even f I was capable, would still take time to do. So I'm starting small, collecting parts and bidding my time. Any help, comments or questons would be helpful.

Offline macdad-

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Re: Collecting parts
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2011, 08:46:23 PM »
Your Verizon phone might not yeild much as far as accessable components. You should definitely be able to salvage the battery and the screen *might* be somewhat close to industry standard.

Your old desktop computer will just break the bank, it'll be loaded with motors(CD/DVD Drives, Hard Drives), semiconductors(Some of the smaller chips you may be able to use), passive components, the works..  ;D

The VCR is even better! Depending upon its age of course, the newer electronics sometimes have custom chips that have no public datasheets.  ::)
But on the flip side, you get alot of components off of it. Getting a microcontroller off of it is not really worth your while(Unless its a REALLY old, 80s or 90s VCR), as they are sometimes OTP(One Time Programmable) and cannot be reprogrammed.

Overall passive components you'll have a breeze collecting them. Ditto for motors. Chips are a maybe depending upon their age, package, and if they are industry standard. Just giving a really wild guess, I would say you could atleast create the head assembly with the given motors.

For the limb motors, you should look at some power tools, corded Drills especially as they are already geared down and dirt cheap on ebay.

Hope this helped
,Nick(macdad-)

Offline waltr

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Re: Collecting parts
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2011, 08:49:05 PM »
It can be worth while tearing apart old electronic but don't just collect them. Instead try to figure out how they work and how to get them to work. You will learn from each piece so that some day you will be able to build that dream Robot.

Examples:
A phone; there is a mic, a speaker and an audio amp in there. Can you isolate these part and re-wire them so that when you speak into the mic your voice is heard in the speaker?

CD player; has a motor to spin the disk, a motor to move the head and a motor to insert/eject the disk. Can you control these motors from an external switch.

Most 'junk' can be re-worked to do some thing else and you will learn much in the process.

Have fun.

Offline KillerwolfbotTopic starter

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Re: Collecting parts
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2011, 02:49:53 PM »
Thanks guys I apreciate the advice. I went to radio shack for a non-robot project and they had close to nothing. They only had 1 motor and it was a high speed. in all the books i read they say I should look out for RC servos with high toruqe, so i didn't pick it up.

Also I have a queston about microcontrollers.  I'm new to them and radioshack only sells 1. This one in fact. :http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2117994

It says its good for beginers, but so does the Axon, which should I pick up?

Offline macdad-

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Re: Collecting parts
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2011, 04:57:41 PM »
It depends upon your thoughts, besides Price($100 for either or):
  • Features(Axon has MANY more features than the Basic Stamp)
  • Learning Curve(I can't say for the Axon, as I haven't used it. My education with the Basic Stamp was an easy one)
  • Extras(The Basic Stamp Radio Shack set has several components and a small low-torque servo, the Axon is just the microcontroller board, power cable, and connection cable.)
  • Support(The Basic Stamp has the Parallax forums, The Axon has this forum)

Let some others voice their opinions between the two as they're more experience with the Axon.

So its your choice  ;)


Offline SmAsH

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Re: Collecting parts
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2011, 05:21:19 PM »
Well, if you want a lot more help here on the forums and a platform that will last you till your as advanced as you get, go the axon.
Basic stamps are all fine for beginners but once your past that stage they can be fairly limited with what you can do.

As for the junk, why not keep some of it and use it as is if it still works? especially so if its a phone, who knows when you'll want some phone control in there?
Howdy

Offline Jim the Hermit

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Re: Collecting parts
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2011, 09:36:11 AM »
I've been collecting junk for my dream robots since I was a kid.  A lot of it wasn't useful.  I had a lot of stepper motors, but couldn't get any of them to work!  I had DC motors, but none that matched for a dual drive and no gearboxes or wheels that could fit!
 >:(

The most useful stuff I had were cables, mated-connectors/plugs, braided ground wires, sensors, switches, and leds.  Brackets and things that hold other little things into place are also useful.

As you're building and testing your robot, you will find things that should work, aren't and you will start wondering if the junk parts you're using is the reason why the stuff was thrown away in the first place!  :-\   

So, I tend to miminize the amount of junk in my robots.

Offline KillerwolfbotTopic starter

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Re: Collecting parts
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2011, 01:24:46 PM »
Useful advice. I'm going to save up for the axonll/computer vision Because that seems to be the most expensive parts. Then start buying the cheaper stuff lke motors and sensors and what not. Can anyone recomend a good high tourqe motor?

Offline Jim the Hermit

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Re: Collecting parts
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2011, 08:32:30 PM »
I want to build a fully atonamas humanoid robot maybe 4-5 feet tall, capable of speach, you know the good stuff.

BTW, this is exactly what I want to do.  I'm currently working on my 3rd box on wheels.  Is there a thread on these types of bots?  I want pan/tilt for the head and eyes, 2 (relatively useful) arms, a waist and wheels.  She would be child-size and heavier than anything I'm used to.

Offline KillerwolfbotTopic starter

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Re: Collecting parts
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2011, 12:04:18 AM »
I don't know if there is a thread like that. I am relatively new to the forum.

 


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