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November 17, 2015:
I've started blogging! Visit Kurt Tomlinson's Blog today.

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Robotics


Introduction

My sixth-grade science class required that every student participate in the school science fair. At first, I was unhappy with this requirement because I was having a difficult time to finda suitable topic. I searched the internet for topic ideas, and everything I found was either too simple or didn't really make a very good science fair topic. The days passed by, and it wasn'tuntil about a month before the deadline that I discovered hobby robotics.

I had been aware of projects like NASA's Mars Pathfinder and Honda's ASIMO, but I had no idea that robotics was something that anyone could do. After finding the Acroname website with their extensive examples section, I knew that I had found the basis for my science fair project.

After some thinking, I quickly decided upon the topic for my science fair project: line-following. Since time was so short, I decided to use an OOPic microcontroller for my robot. It seemed to be the easiest to program of the popular microcontrollers. I ordered it along with the other components I needed and began work as soon as they arrived.

I spent hours upon hours working on my project. At first, it was a struggle to get the robot to even move. Then, the robot wanted to do anything but follow the line. Next, the robot would follow the line sometimes, but only when it wanted to follow the line. I gotit working well enough at the last minute and then documented everything and submitted it for judging.

Although I had turned in my science fair project, I had not finished working on it. I had enjoyed it so much that I just kept working on it. I continued to improve on my original design forseveral months, and eventually I moved on to a new robot base that I continue to work on today. What started as an obligation has turned into a lifetime pursuit.

Current Robotics Projects

I have abandoned robotics research in favor of less costly projects.

Completed Robotics Projects

In reverse chronological order of completion: