Well, not too much to report today. I put together my Velleman Running Microbug kit. It works, but it tends to make a beeline directly toward the shop light, and then to crash into the wall. It might be fun to play with it in the dark with a flashlight. I bought it last week, at San Diego Electronic Supply. This is a great little electronics shop.
(I wonder if they’d be interested in starting or joining a hackerspace?)
Anyway, next I turned my attention to the Mobile Armatron. I was able to figure out the motor control system, which is basically that one end of each motor is grounded, and that pressing a button on the control pendant sends either a positive or negative voltage into the other end of the motor, causing it to turn either clockwise or counterclockwise. I think it will be pretty simple to cook up a transistorized version of the control pendant, but there’s another small problem. He’s got a twitchy wrist. It will turn up to a point, and then stop and twitch until someone pushes on it. I took his entire wrist assembly apart and discovered a gear that had two chipped teeth. Not much I could do about that. But I think just the act of taking it apart and putting it back together helped a little bit.