Let's discuss sensors.
I need to give this robot some way to detect it's environment. Hopefully before it falls down the stairs and gets busted into little pieces. To that end, I figure I need to add proximity sensors. I've ordered several Sharp GP2D12s.
These sensors are capable of giving range to any object up to 30 cm away. I'm plannin to put them between the robot's decks, facing outward from each side (between the legs).
They are analog sensors, so I will have to do something to convert the analog values they give to digital. Maybe I will create some kind of analog to digital conversion device. I shall call it..... The ANALOGDIGITOMATICALIZER!!! Or, I could just buy some A/D converters. :-) I will need to design and build a custom A/D board. And before I can do that, I will need to actually settle on an interface spec. I'm thinking that I will go wi.th I2C. But before I can really do that, I will have to get together the necessary hardware to do I2C development.
I also ordered a camera for the bot. The camera is a standard 802.11 webcam. For the moment, my plan is to use it simply so I can see where the robot is going when it's out of line of sight.
For the future, I'm thinking image recogniton.
I have discovered what was causing my robot to slowly turn left. It turns out that some of the screws were loose in the leg that it was pulling towards. After tightening up all the screws in all the legs, things work much better. It walks smoothly in all directions now.
Robot walking smoothly (1.74 Mb)