1.555.555.555 eric@invisiblefocus.com
Category: Just Eric


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Eric’s code is c++ with a lot of screw ups.  I’m not a C programmer, I’m not writing the best of code, I’m just making Eric work.  I’ll try and define code for:

  • Sensors
  • Networking
  • Logic and disision making

I will also list the data-sheets for the following sensors and control systems I am using on Eric, such as:

  • Gyro
  • Compass
  • Temprature sensor
  • Voltage monitor
  • CLock

I’ve not done any compilation of the header files, Iknow that it will take less time to compile but I’m making so many changes there would have to be a lot of compilation every time I want to update Eric’s code.


Test Areas

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Test area one – The Hall

From the upstairs landing is a hall extending East with a short L shaped turn to the North.  Blocking this area off with a box makes a nice test area for collision detection.

Test area two – The Office

There are lots of obstacles in here, a chance for the sensors to do their job.

Design constraints

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The Financial Constraints

I don’t have money to spend on this project so expensive parts are out of the question.  Most of the sensors are from China, 99p($1.00), but it can take a month or two to get here.

Size Constraints

Eric’s size is limited by his environment, if he is too big he will become an obstacle for the other life forms and as a result may sustain damage from collisions.  Another factor is cost, bigger pieces cost more.  On the other hand, if Eric is too small he could be accidentally crushed underfoot.  The ideal size is the same footprint as a person standing, around a foot square.


“You know, a little nibble here and a little nibble there, Lister, and before you know it we’re flying *backwards*.”


Another design problem is the cat.



Slightly Miffed Eric – Fuzzy Road.

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On my fathers bookcase was a copy of “Build Your Own Working Robot” by David L. Heiserman (ISBN 0-7042-0171-2). The author takes you through building a robot based on a child’s ride on electric car giving all the circuit diagrams and build instructions. The final, autonomous robot can run around avoiding obstacles and even recharge its own batteries by returning to a recharging station when it needs to. Published in 1976, pre-dating the first home computer, it is all down to logic circuits and some very clever thinking. As a child, this book started me on the road to robotics. I never did get an electric car to work with but I did have access to lots of Meccano. When I left home and ventured into the big wide world my father gave me the book and started replacing the damaged skirting boards. Read More