I've had some issues with the overall IR remote control. During the Halloween 2004 debut, I had the soil sampler activate a few times by itself. Also, a couple times the chest light pattern had changed all by itself. Both of these are controlled by the IR Remote through the IR Interface Circuit board. Something was sending/receiving false signals causing these things to occur. I don't know if it was the neon lights confusing the IR detector or stray spikes on the power line from the motors. I originally was having a problem with the soil sampler activating occasionally on initial power up. I put a delay command in the programming in the Basic Stamp microcontroller so that it waits 10 seconds after power up before it looks for the Soil Sampler signal. That solved the startup issues.
I switched to an RF remote control for control of the robot's functions. It's a much better solution in the long run since I won't have to be directly in front of the robot to aim the remote at the IR Detector. Although I'll still need the IR Detector and IR Repeated board for the Car Stereo remote to work.
Here's the RF Remote Control I used. It is called a "Rolling Code 10-Channel UHF remote control" and is available from Amazon Electronics. It was on my Christmas list and Santa came through. It comes as a kit and I wasted no time putting it together. I did a test run with it temporarily wired in. It performed flawlessly. I used it to actuate the soil sampler as well as switch the modes on my front teeth lights. Now I just need to decide everything I want to control with it. I have several choices. I can even wire it to power up the entire robot, if I want.
Here's a view with the collar in place. You can see the black camera support behind the collar rings. There will be a large black "ring" around the inside of the collar to hid both of these. This is where Bob May's head would be and there would be holes in the black ring for him to see out of. I figured if it was a good place for him to peer out of, it was good enough for my camera and IR detector.
The circuit board shown here is my IR repeater board. I need to get the Car Stereo IR remote control signals inside to the car stereo I am using for my voice/internal sound. In order to have the IR signals penetrate the torso, I need to have a remote IR detector and a corresponding internal IR repeater. The board should do the trick. It is sold by Ramsey Electronics a very neat local manufacturer of Hobby electronics kits.
I cut down the IR repeated circuit board as it had a lot of wasted space. It also helps that it is now smaller so finding room for it is a little easier. Here it is mounted next to the main speaker. I may move the green "Feedback" LED up to the collar and mount it on the same bracket as the remote sensor. I find it convenient to know if the IR detector saw the remote command. Right now, without the neon installed, I can see the green LED through the neon opening. Once the neon is in, I won't have that luxury.