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Archive

Alive and kicking

The final mounting of the motor circuit turns out to be more complicated than I first expected. This takes almost one whole day.

softening_sound.jpg

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First, where it’s needed, I pack the individual units into something to shield them. The speaker gets a thin layer of foam to soften the sound. The two vibrating motors are placed in the piece of mounting shell that they had in their original products. The smallest of them get a whole piece of the mobile phone shell. It also gets a piece of tape to cover up the moving parts, since it’s to be placed so high up inside the body, where there’s a ot of wires.

Then I have to place the motors at the correct spots, try to make enough room for both them, the battery and a small piece of bread board that I use to connect the wires from the head with the motors. Then I have to assure that they are securely fastened to the shell, solid enough to stand the vibrations. Especially the biggest motor, a quite powerful vibrator motor from a playstation hand control, needs securing plastic walls of the same type as the one I used in the dog’s head to support the bread board. I glue it all into place with plenty of epoxy.

motor_mounting.jpg

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I suddenly come to think of that I need one extra switch; I need to be able to disconnect the battery when connecting the usb cable.
I’m not sure, but I suspect the arduino is becoming electrocuted if I don’t. I have to make a big bright red control for this function so I never miss it. This switch might be handy for easy access to the saving of battery power as well. When the arduino board is ready and loaded the switch can be tuck into the bum inside the plastic shell again. Good that the pear shape give me some extra space in there.

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Finally, at the end of the day, everything works. It’s really something special to be able to test the dog out when it’s running on battery power without any external wires. When everything finally was tucked in the head it was a magical experience to test it after testing a totally open system, and now I experience a kind of magic again. When carrying the dog to the workshop for a small cut in the body to make an opening for the newest switch I catch myself to think of him as almost alive. All motors work as well, but the sound box don’t make the same rattling sound anymore when it’s tightly glued to the wall, so I have to operate this one out and make a new box for it (need to buy more eggs). Another special thing I notice just before I call it a night, is that the dog now gets into the multi-reading sphere a lot easier than it did before. Strange - I have not added any extra distance on the nose, quite the contrary actually, since I’ve glued the reader in an even more vertical position the closest it gets to the front inside the shell (a few millis). Have to test this out more carefully. I also notice that the dog needs a stronger neck..
Results from initial testing shows that when on battery the reader detects a tag over and over again, even when the tag is held inside the active sphere! Seems like the battery makes the reader connect and disconnect over and over. I don’t think this has to do with the inbetween multi-reading sphere anymore - when testing with usb connection the behaviour goes back to normal. Have to search around for clues around what might cause this.

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I also get to test the reading range of the stones. They are detected at approx 5 cm distance, and the sticker tags are detected at 6 cm. Considering the thickness of the material in the stones this means they’re almost the same. The material haven’t reduced the range of the tags remarkably, even though it is very dense and quite heavy. Let’s hope that’s the issue with the nose as well. If not I might just make it thinner by hollowing it out on the backside. I think 5 cm is a good reaction distance, then you have to come close enough to sniff the arphid but without having to make the parts touch each other.

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