Friday, September 7, 2012

Sept. 4th - Sept 7th

Hello Again,

This week has been filled with work on my African Education Robot.  I spent Tuesday and Wednesday working on the paperwork associated with my submission (which is currently an unpublished blog post).  A couple of times I tried to put into practice some actual coding (although hardware coding without the hardware in front of you to test it on is a little bit boring becuase you can't test your code).

Thursday, I finally got to actually getting my hands dirty with some construction.  I did all the soldering for the 4-digit 7 segment displays (there are 3 of them), and I soldered leads onto one of the buttons!  Now that I have functioning displays to work with, I can start playing with the code for the robot and more effectively constructing it.

Friday I began working with the Arduino (the brains of the operation).  I connected the 4-digit, 7 segment displays to the Arduino, and ran some code to ensure they worked, and start to learn how to use them (I've never used 7 segment displays before - and I'm starting out with 12 of them!).  It worked first try, which is awesome.  I also loaded up some of the example sketches to get a feel for how these pieces of hardware work and communicate with the IDE.  The 4-digit 7 segment displays are so cool, and I was playing with some cool sample sketches which looked ridiculously awesome.  I also started working on my Arduino Sketch, getting a few basics in code.  The Arduino is a lower level C language, so I'm very familiar with how it works, but unused to the fact that it's a lower level language.  I much more used to higher level languages, so I had to do some research to figure out how to do primitive tasks, such as converting chars to ints.

After school I also came back for another hour and a half, and began laying out out the electronics in the case.  The case turned out to be much smaller in-person than I was expecting (I hope everything fits).

I spent the hour and a half drawing a few templates and using the nibbler tool to cut (mostly) straight edges.  It occurred to me I should file the edges straight and clean (a task for next week).  And that rounded out the week.

Thus far all goes well with my robot, and I'm making good progress as the deadline of September 15th fast approaches.

Anyway, thats all the rambling I have for now.



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