I recently picked up the basic DFRobot Rover kit from robotshop.com, which finally arrived today after what seemed like an eternity on back order. I also picked up a Bluetooth kit and a couple of sensors to play with. I’m still waiting for their new wheel encoders for this kit and a couple of 6V motors, but I can get started without them. Oh well, it just gives me a reason to disassemble it all later to add the new parts.
I started out trying to gather parts to build something similar, but decided to go with their kit and save some time(something I don’t always have a lot of). Maybe later, when I feel more comfortable with arduino, then I will move onto building something from scratch.
The only thing I am missing at the moment is a mini USB cable for the main board. To be truthful, I am not really missing the cable, so much as I need to untangle it from the magical ball of USB cables that I have stuffed in a drawer.
Update on February 22, 2012
I have run into a couple of small issues that well are more an annoyance than anything else. The first is that I purchased an inexpensive bluetooth dongle that was DOA. Then the dagu mini pan and tilt I purchased, is not going to fit to the rover’s mount due to the front idler axle being in its way. This was simply an oversight on my part for not giving it a once over. I will most likely create a mount for this if I use it, or look at modifying how the idler is mounted.
I also dug up some older code from cellbots for this rover, but it is outdated and will need to be updated to work with the newer IDE.
Update on February 24, 2012
I’m Still waiting on my replacement bluetooth dongle but was able to connect to the rover via terminal using the SENA BTerm app on DroidX. This worked well and allowed me to control it with WASD keys from the phone using the sample code provided by robotshop. Please note that if you want to do something silly like I did – painting the tamiya wheels – then make sure you assemble them with the end caps first. Since I didn’t add the end caps first, I had to clean up the paint around the caps that was causing the idler wheels to stick and roll as a solid axle.