New Robot Under Construction

It has been a while since I have done anything robotics related. My son has been a hand full and hasn’t allowed me to do much outside of work. It has been worth it but I’m grateful for his growing independence and glad to get back into my hobby again. So I ordered a new robot chassis and built it today.  I decided to go with the Magician Chassis from Sparkfun.  It is one of the cheapest platforms out there and is big enough for the robot I’m planning.

Robot Chassis

Robot Chassis

I’m hoping I can scrape together enough time before the weekend is up to attach my raspberry pi and the L293D H-Bridge that I got from i3Detroit and do a little programming.  I also purchased a new wifi adapter which is going to make programming a lot easier.  I should get that by Saturday.

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Barkley Playing Fetch at Orion Oaks

I figured my blog needed some content here so I’m linking some videos of my dog Barkley playing fetch at my local dog park. Very soon I will also have some posts about my new robotics project. I’ve also created a project page for that, I just need to buy a couple of new parts before I can really get moving on this one. In the meantime here are my dog videos.

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Simplified Garduino

I love the Garduino! I really think it is one of the coolest projects that you can make with the Arduino. The full Garduino has some really great features it waters the plants only when needed, turns on supplemental lights based on how much natural sunlight is received, and alerts if the temperature drops below a plant-healthy level. Eventually I’d like to put one of these full garduino systems together and perhaps even add to it. For now though I just have a simple low maintanance desk plant that I just need to remember to water. I took the Garduino concept and simplified it. My super simplified garduino uses the same circuit as the full garduino to measure soil moisture level. When that moisture level drops too low an LED positioned above the plant lights up letting me know it is time to water.  Below is a video I made demonstrating this project in action.

Future additions to this project will include:
1. Replacing the LED with an edge lit “water me” sign.
2. Create LED water level indicator.
3. Make it smaller.
4. More?

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The Primal Blueprint

OK so I’m not going to post any silly before and after pictures, but I figured this is something worth talking about. As this blog has become mostly about my creative cooking I thought I should say something about my diet. I’ve recently started The Primal Blueprint. On this diet I have been losing weight pretty fast and I haven’t even been able to make it to the gym as much as normal. It seems that working out alone has not helped much with the weight loss but watching what I eat on the other hand has had a huge impact so far. Anyway, deep fried hot wings are not on the menu for this diet. I could be totally bummed out but instead I am going to channel my culinary creativity into inventing some primal friendly foods. I’ll try and update at least a couple times a month with some new recipes and also updates to my weight loss progress. I’ve restarted my weight loss tracking chart. It should have been restarted sooner when I actually started the diet but I didn’t think of it until now. I started at about 185ish.

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Orange Hot Wings

This Sunday I created a new sauce recipe using orange juice.  I got the idea from something I saw on the food network. I don’t believe this recipe is quite complete yet, but it doesn’t taste half bad as it is. Despite orange juice being a major component, I actually thought that the flavor came through rather mild.  The other problem, in my opinion, is that the sauce was not thick enough and therefore did not really stick to the chicken very well.  I’ll look at improving that in the future.  Here is that recipe.

1 part orange juice
1 part Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
2 parts sugar
add minced garlic to taste

Just mix that all together in a sauce pan until the sugar is completely dissolved.  I had hoped that heating it for a while would make it thicker, but I lost patience and decided to just try it as it was. I believe this is a great “infant” recipe and I’ll be tweaking it a lot in the near future.

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