Hardware and Software Projects


This section contains notes on various projects that I've spent time working. If you happen to be doing something similar, hopefully I will have saved you a couple of hours (or days) covering ground that I (or someone else) has already mapped.


DeepVac (In Progress)

This robot project is my reason to dig back into neural networks. My intention is to take an existing robot platform (e.g. Roomba or a cheaper knockoff), remove its brain, and install a new one that I can use with various "deep learning" frameworks.

Robot Control with MIT's "Scratch"

Scratch is a programming environment developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten group at MIT.  It is intuitive and block-oriented and ideal for children (and adults) to get the basic concepts behind programming. In this section, I describe a rather extensive modification that I made to the Scratch programming environment in order to control robots through a simple serial protocol. This kind of thing appears to have been done a number of times. However, if you feel the need to learn SmallTalk and poke around in Squeak, I have a some hints to help you get going.


Marvin is the longest-standing robot test-bed in my graveyard of robots. This robot was a favourite at my kid's school. If you are just getting into NXP "HC" series processors and you like to bare-metal program, then maybe Marvin has something you can use!


If recent events have demonstrated that your body is too fragile to endure the vicissitudes of the world, then this is the project for you! We made a cheap telepresence robot similar to the one that Sheldon built on the Big Bang Theory. In this case, it wasn't made to avoid human contact but rather to enhance it.


My daughter's WallE robot. Edited so that it chases things now. But not very well.