Category Archives: Arduino

Robot: Solar Tracker on wheels – here we go


Ah birthdays… I’ve received a bunch of amazon gift cards for my birthday and I think I’ve finally spent all the money. Besides a seat post bike rack, all I bought was electronics stuff; my first robot chassis as well as a bunch of other random stuff… (inductors for trying to do that Disney Touche singing plant project which radioshack does not carry). I’ll mostly be following niltoid as usual but I’m mounting my old solar tracker on top. My Raspberry pi looks pretty good mounted on there, hopefully it will become some super AI brain. I also, like niltoid, bought a HC-SR04 Ultra-sonic sensor (data sheet) which should be fun to try and use. I’m presently looking at this tutorial and this library. Should be fun.

Now onto motor driver:
Ahmad (niltoid’s) code
also looking at this tutorial.

Update: 5.15.2013

All the parts are hooked up and working. I still need to figure out the power situation as well as re-intergrating the solar charging part but the components are there though the code is rudimentary at the moment, pretty much just a loop to test each component. Now the really fun part begins.

Raspberry Pi obsessed


Just got my Raspberry Pi last week and yeah, I’m super obsessed. I’ve mostly been copying Niltoid (AKA Ahmad)’s setup(s) but I’m also collecting a few other helpful links along the way. So to keep track ( and I’ll keep adding more ), here are some links:

If headless and on the road

For Unix and Bash Shell brush up:

To install Node.js (haven’t done this yet but…):
& I found this one too

Eventually, I’d like to do a version of this with the Pi.



Breadboarding done. Interior Shell Structure Start.

I am now putting her all together, slowly. There is still some light architecting and constructing to do as I am figuring out the interior design as I go. I cut the power jack off my RBBB board as planned and it fits nicely although the double pointed pentagon structure I built (connected at the points [ like this: >< ], with a toothpick through the middle of the two) to hold up the board is a little higher than I wanted because I didn't take into account the soldering sticking out of the bottom of the board. I've also started building the mount for the 7-segment display which, I’m sure, will present it’s own challenges. But the code is pretty much there! I ripped a bunch off from Ahmad’s ThermoLamp code which saved loads of time. I added a dimmer mode (which I probably should have used while photographing the breadboard) and I probably still have to clean up the code a bit but for now I’ll be concentrating on building the interior, the shade covering, and the power circuit (I have to build my own holders for 2x3v disc batteries – and it would be cool to do some transistor / photocell kind of thing but I’ll probably just have a switch).


Geodesic Shell

This is still in the works. It’s an idea for a night light with a thermistor that changes a tri-color LED based on the temperature ( inspired by baby sleeping temp recommendations ). Funnily enough, my friend Ahmad (see his new blog) had the same idea way before I did. He gave me his code and convinced me to add a 7-segment display which I am working on now. But here’s the geodesic shell that I made from toothpicks and glue. I’ll keep updating as I go.

I got my Math for geodesic domes from, once again, hilaroad and also JMEMantzel. I recently bought Geodesic Math and How to Use It by Hugh Kenner but my dome was already in the works by the time I received it in the mail so I’ll have to use it for future projects.

Solar Tracker


Solar Tracker

I built a solar tracker like this one modified to use my Arduino. If you haven’t seen any videos by ScienceOnline before, you’re in for a real treat! Check out their website too for some more great ideas and scientific knowledge.

This was my first real Arduino project and I think it went rather well. I learned a lot but now I really need to get out in the sun to do some real testing. I’d still like to use this to power some other projects and / or add some other features… so many empty pins on that RBBB board.

a few pics

parts & materials


get the most recent code on github