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B9 Robot Construction

B9 Robot Internal Electronics - Part 2

I am using a car stereo for the audio inside my B9. This CD player has a few neat options. It can play MP3's so I can put 10 hours worth of audio on a single CD. Also, it can be operated by an IR remote. Just above the radio you can see the fuse panel. All my low voltage is distributed through these fuses.

Here's the whole internal stack. Not all the wiring is in place in this shot. The second layer down contains the two Oopic microcontroller and the two motor controller boards.

Bulb-O-Rama! - I am using several types of bulbs in the B9. I figured that I had better make a chart and keep some spares on hand. For several of the lights, you can choose the type of bulb/lamp socket you want to use, so don't feel like this is the only way to do it. In most cases the the bulb and socket are not visible so do whatever works for you. I've collected many bulbs and sockets over the years (think pinball machines) so I used what I had in most cases.

Where Used Voltage Base Bulb type Qty Notes
Brain lights 12 V Screw Base (Ba9S) #258 25 Miniature Flasher
Finger lights 12 V Screw Base (Ba9S) #258 7 Flashing
Large Chest lights 6.3 V T3-1/4 Bayonet Base #47 2 Modified Dialight Base
Chest Buttons (Teeth Lights ) 5 V Screw Base 2
Small belly lights 6.3 V Bayonet Base #47 12
Programming Bay light 6.3V T3-1/4 Bayonet Base #47 1

B9 Robot Remote Control

I've had some issues with the overall IR remote control. During the Halloween 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.

This is the IR Detector (shown in the above schematic) mounted below the pinhole camera. It will peer out from inside the collar. To the right of the IR Detector is the microphone.

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 hide 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.

Read more: B9 Robot Remote Control

Robot Updates

iB9 Interactive SoftwareThe most recent improvement to my B9 robot is the addition of some wonderful software written by members of the B9 Robot Builders Club.  The software is called the  iB9 Interactive Voice program.  Essentially it allows you to have your B9 interact with people in real-time.

It works kind of like the Wizard in the Wizard of OZ. You run the software on a laptop that is interfaced with your B9 sound system. 

I have a 20 ft. audio cable that runs into the rear vent of the torso and connects to my audio amplifier.  You can select different phrases and responses allowing you to have a conversation with a real person. 

The original voice of the robot, Dick Tufeld, provided over 400 custom phrases. Some are classic sayings and some are very humorous.  More to come.