A simple programmable robot-rover using the LCD board

Here is a laser cut rover I’ve made, using the LCD-button-board as the controller. The motors are cheap, modified Hobbyking servos. It’s a very simple build, and it is programmable using the keys on the LCD-board. The LCD-board has connectors for two servos and one sensor, giving access to two IO (one of which is P1.6, an analog input, required for the IR sensor).

The software is programmed using Energia, which is an Arduino-clone for MSP430.

It uses a home-made IR proximity sensor.

The firmware used on the video is here and you also need the LCD library for the board, which is here. If you think this is interesting you may also want to look at one of my other, even simpler builds, which requires less components.

If you’d like to make one yourself, you can do it without the laser-cut kit also. You can just get a 3-cell battery box as on the picture and use double-sided tape to glue the servos on top of it, and the board on top of the servos. Use something round (CDs?) as the wheels. Will work fine. But make sure you use 3 NiMH batteries (1.2 V each, 3.6 V in total), since this will give a good voltage you can feed directly to the servos and to the MSP430/LCD without breaking anything. If you use 3 Alkaline batteries, you need a regulator for the MSP430/LCD.

If you want a laser-cut kit, I can make one for you. Send me a message and I’ll add it to the store.

Here’s the Youtube video:

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DIY Infrared Proximity Sensor

I’m trying to make a low-cost robot kit, and part of this should really be a low cost Infrared Proximity sensor. Here’s the schematics. Ignore the photo-sensors on the right. They are for if you don’t want an IR sensor and you just want to sense the difference between light/dark on two sides of the bot.

It works, but not for very long distances. I’m using it for sensing for example 10 cm, which is fine for a robot.

The part list:

I’ve made a board for it, which is documented here. It’s a sub-board that’s part of the motor driver card.

For the MSP430, connect pin 1 to ground, pin 2 to vcc (3.5V), pin 3 to P2.5 and pin 4 to P1.6

Here’s some test code using Energia (if you haven’t tested Energia, you should. It’s an Arduino-port for MSP430 and is very simple to use). I’ll add a picture later.

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Thermistor based thermometer for MSP430

I’ve made some MSP430 code for a high-temperature capable thermometer, by adapting the code from Reprap. The code uses the B57560G104F thermistor that can measure temperatures up to 300 Degrees C. As a display I suggest you buy the display I’m showing below (will soon be available to buy) or for example this character-display from Farnell.

The picture shows the temperature in a display and in front the Thermistor. These are really tiny glass beads that can handle high temperatures, but be careful with how you mount it.

The circuit is basically

Vcc — 10K resistor — P1.2 — Thermistor — 0V

It’s also good to place a 1uF capacitor across the thermistor to remove noise.

IAR MSP430 code is below. It can easily be adapted to CCS or MSPGCC.

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