On the Bench

In this section, I will share projects at various stages of completion with you. Some may be done soon, others may never be completed. The main thing here is that each of these projects needs some special something to help it along. I invite YOU to offer up suggestions, comments, or technical help with any project you see on this page. Just check it out and see what inspires you!

Turbot 1.0 Replica

My Brass tubing collection has been put to good use! I started making a replica of Tilden's Turbot 1.0. I have completed the main pyramid-like outer framework. This took many hours and it is now sitting around waiting for me to resume construction. It looks SOOO Neat! I almost don't want to finish it and just keep it as an ornament or somethin! Watch for Turbot 1.0 frame build page coming in the future!

This is Mark Tilden's Original Turbot 1.0

And this is the frame for my version.

Looks pretty cool huh?! I keep catching myself staring into the framework....hypnotized by the....uh...shape. or somethin'. In short, I LIKE IT!

This project is sitting around waiting for some SERIOUS mechanical creation and circuitry. As you can see, it is only an outer frame right now and will require several more long periods of development to complete. I don't look for this to be a very "smart" robot, but rather a stupid tumbling robot which is more active in bright light and exibits a sort of Brownian Motion.

Vegas Coffin

Here is a very simple little brass framework I built to make into a Pummer (pretty light up thingy). I want to have six lights around the sides of it that blink randomly or in sequence when the lights go out. I have had alot of trouble with the electronics part of it however.

For this blinky box to be complete, it will probably require a miracle. I need a circuit which can blink 6 blue LED's in sequence or in pseudo-random fashion for at least a few hours after the sun goes down. The circuit needs to work well with extremely slow changing light conditions. It also has to use 2 Solarbotics Sunceram Solar Cells generating approx 3v at 25mA when combined in parallel. The storage is open for discussion as long as it can be charged in indirect sunlight for about 10-12 hours and reach full charge. The main trick in this circuit will be creating the high voltage necessary to operate this many blue LED's for such a long duration. It would be nice if the circuit would cut-off the operation of the lights/drive circuitry when the power storage drops below the point at which it can produce nice light effects.

As you can see, the "Vegas Coffin" is going to require some expertise and experimentation to complete. At least I have a name for it, which was thought up by my good friend Dan Gonzales. Thanks Dan! With a name like that, now I'll HAVE to finish it!


Brass Walker Frame

This is the skeleton of a 2 motor walker. Currently, I haven't come up with a good spring return system for the front legs. It will take alot of time to finish this robot. I plan on using a Microcore circuit as the brains and a 4.8v Ni-Cad battery for power. If all goes well, I would like to make it Solar powered, but that's a long way off.

It took alot of time to modify the motors to mount to the frame. They come with 2 small screws holding a plate that held them in place in their original application. I modified the mounting plate and sandwiched a piece of brass plate between the original plate and the motor body. I had to do this because I couldn't find nuts and screws to fit this tiny application. It is a very solid and secure set-up that should provide good reliability and long life for this walker.


2 Wheeled Platform

This is a platform I built to test circuits before building them into solid bots. I wanted to try out light/dark searching behaviors and line-following BEAM type circuits. With the removeable breadboard on top, I can test alot of other circuits and ideas quickly and easily. It will be equipped with a 4-cell Ni-Cad battery and an H-Bridge for each motor that is compatible with logic circuits and BEAM type circuits. I have yet to use it, but at least I have built it.

The switch is held in place with servo tape and a screw pushing it into the tape for a secure mount. The tail "wheel" is a piece of small music wire held between the upper and lower plates with locking collars. It is shaped like a "J" and swivels freely. I made the front with a large plate to make mounting touch switches and other sensors very easy.

Well, that is it for now. I have a couple other neat-o items I'm working on, but no photos yet. I will share them on this page as soon as I have a chance to!
If you would like to make any suggestions, please contact me at !
"On the Bench" was Last Updated: May 7, 2006-- Webmaster: Mike Scharf
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