In honor of National Robotics Week and the Instructables Robot Challenge I am submitting a few robot designs. This design (for ages 13-18) takes advantage of Wild Planet's Spy Video Trakr, which is easily programmable and designed by its developers to be hacked.
The Trakr is a remote controlled robot equipped with a microphone and color video camera, speaker, a near infrared LED for night vision, an SD memory card slot for recording audio/video and 8MB of on board memory for storing downloadable and user designed programs. The remote control unit has control levers to drive the robot, a speaker and color video display so you can hear the audio picked up by the microphone and display the video transmitted by the camera, and several function buttons that can be used to control additional program functions of user designed programs.
If you take a moment to review this Instructable: Spy Video Trakr: Add a Missile Launcher http://www.instructables.com/id/Recycle-The-Spy-Video-Trakr-Add-a-Missile-Launche/
, you will notice that I have designed my Trakr hacks without having to use soldering irons and hot glue so that younger kids can try these hacks. Unfortunately since Wire Glue is designed for ages 10 and older, the age group for National Robotics Week and the Instructables Robot Challenge are ages 13 to 18. Younger kids can try these hacks with the supervisoin of an adult. The two solderless alternative used in this Trakr hack are Wire Glue conducting glue and Snap Circuits.
Snap Circuits by Elenco is an educational toy that teaches folks about electronics with solderless snap-together electronic components. Each electronic component has the electronic schematic symbol and a label printed onto its plastic case that is color coded for easy identification. They snap together with what appear to be ordinary clothing snaps—hence the name Snap Circuits. The components also snap onto a 10 X 7 plastic base grid, which is analogous to a solderless breadboard.
There are several Snap Circuits kits that range from a few simple circuits to the largest kit that includes 750 electronic projects. All the kits include manuals printed in color with easy to follow diagrams to assemble the projects. The illustrations for each project look almost exactly like what the components will look on the base grid when finished. Because the electronic symbol is printed on each electronic component, once the project is completed, it will look almost exactly like a printed electronic schematic.
In this Instructable you'll learn how to add a Lego claw attachment to the Spy Vidoe Trakr. You'll learn how to download and install the C language compiler for the Trakr. You'll learn how to install jumper pins on the Trakr's circuit board to control external devices such as the Lego claw attachment. You'll learn how to add a common ground and 9 volt power tap for your Trakr hacking projects. You'll learn how to build a versatile cargo deck for the Trakr out of Lego. You'll learn how to build the Lego claw attachment. You'll learn how to connect the Lego claw to the Trakr. Finally you'll learn how to program the Trakr to operate your Lego claw attachment.