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beam_robotics [2009-01-12 10:21]
davegriffiths
beam_robotics [2009-01-12 10:28] (current)
davegriffiths
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 The control mechanism of a BEAM robot is a set of analogue circuits which are broadly biologically inspired, and can be connected together to provide fixed control signals (for tasks such as moving a multi-legged walker) or have sensors integrated into them to provide a link to the outside world. There is a distinctive language developed for the construction of these circuits, which I'll attempt to explain a bit of below. The control mechanism of a BEAM robot is a set of analogue circuits which are broadly biologically inspired, and can be connected together to provide fixed control signals (for tasks such as moving a multi-legged walker) or have sensors integrated into them to provide a link to the outside world. There is a distinctive language developed for the construction of these circuits, which I'll attempt to explain a bit of below.
  
-==Nv Neuron==+====Nv Neuron====
  
 {{http://​www.pawfal.org/​dave/​images/​beam/​nvneuron-schematic.png}} {{http://​www.pawfal.org/​dave/​images/​beam/​nvneuron-schematic.png}}
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 Schematic of the 7404 Schematic of the 7404
  
-==Nv Neuron Array/​Grounded Bicore==+====Nv Neuron Array/​Grounded Bicore====
  
 Nv neurons can be stacked together in arrays, where signals will be propagated slowly along them. Nv neurons can be stacked together in arrays, where signals will be propagated slowly along them.
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 These bicores are the workhorses of BEAM robot brains, and are used to provide oscillating signals which can be controlled from other Nv neurons, or directly from sensor input. These bicores are the workhorses of BEAM robot brains, and are used to provide oscillating signals which can be controlled from other Nv neurons, or directly from sensor input.
  
-==Suspended Bicore==+====Suspended Bicore====
  
 With some modifications,​ it's possible to greatly simplify the grounded bicore into the following form: With some modifications,​ it's possible to greatly simplify the grounded bicore into the following form:
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 The power coming from a solar cell is pretty tiny. In order to do anything much, especially drive a motor, you need to employ some method for increasing the current from the solar panel. The commonest method in BEAM robotics is to store the energy in a capacitor and use it in bursts. This circuit is called a solar engine. The power coming from a solar cell is pretty tiny. In order to do anything much, especially drive a motor, you need to employ some method for increasing the current from the solar panel. The commonest method in BEAM robotics is to store the energy in a capacitor and use it in bursts. This circuit is called a solar engine.
 +
 +====FLED Solar Engine====
  
 {{http://​www.pawfal.org/​dave/​images/​beam/​solarengine.png}} {{http://​www.pawfal.org/​dave/​images/​beam/​solarengine.png}}
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 <​html><​embed src="​http://​blip.tv/​play/​AeXoAY_+Sw"​ type="​application/​x-shockwave-flash"​ width="​320"​ height="​270"​ allowscriptaccess="​always"​ allowfullscreen="​true"></​embed>​ </​html>​ <​html><​embed src="​http://​blip.tv/​play/​AeXoAY_+Sw"​ type="​application/​x-shockwave-flash"​ width="​320"​ height="​270"​ allowscriptaccess="​always"​ allowfullscreen="​true"></​embed>​ </​html>​
 +
 +Movement for free! (Well, using a desk lamp on a dull winters day like today...)
 +
 +====1381 Solar Engine====
 +
 +A more efficient method is to use a voltage regulator, such as the 1381 - unfortunately they are difficult to get hold of, and I couldn'​t manage to get any voltage regulators I had to work.
 +
 +====Timed Solar Engine====
 +
 +Another method is to just have a timer waiting a set time for the capacitor to charge. This can be useful if that fits the application better, but it's less efficient than the methods above, as you need some power to run the timer. I tried this with a 555 IC, but the power coming from the solar cell was insufficient to run the timing chip. It might be possible with a 7555 - the low power cmos version of the 555 timer.
  
 ===BEAM types=== ===BEAM types===