Saturday, January 23, 2021

building the Circuit Playground Express inch worm

This shows the potential to build simple cardboard robots with the Circuit Playground Express. It's a good place to start to illustrate the making side of the CPX.

The instructions here are comprehensive.

Materials: Cardboard 35x11 cm, Velcro, Duct tape, Scissors, Box cutter, Googly eyes, Paper clip (small)

Electronics: Circuit Playground Express; Battery pack, 3 xAAA with on/off switch; Micro servo; Alligator clips to male jumpers

When constructing the inch worm I had a few minor issues with the online instructions. I'll record them here:

To make sure I had the servo arm in the correct starting position I jumped ahead and wrote the code that moved the servo. Then set it up on the cardboard strip and ran the code to make sure it was moving as shown in the online video.

You need a small paper clip to connect the servo arm to the cardboard. The larger one I had was too thick to go through the holes on the servo arm.

I didn't have any strong adhesive dots, as recommended in the online materials, so for the servo and the battery I used duct tape. But use velcro for the CPX for ease of removing if you need to edit your code.

I did follow instructions for adding teeth and toes to the feet. It needs grip to move. But in the end my inch worm hardly moved on felt. But it did walk well on my work tray and I provided a downward slope, too, for the video shot.

Coding: The final code includes a clap (and finger click worked too) start, which is great.

Here are a couple of short videos showing my inch worm moving, with a finger click start. There is a deliberate 2 second delay while the lights flash before it moves off

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