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About a year ago, I went out and got myself 5 meters of WS2812B LEDs, more commonly referred to as “NeoPixels” although mine aren’t from Adafruit. A few weeks ago, I finally figured out how to use them. So, with my new knowledge, I went out and tried to find something fun to do with them. VU Meter? Yup, did that. Spectrum Analyzer? Well, that’s a work in progress. FastLED Fire2012? That replaced any need I had for candles. LED Matrix? Oh yeah.
But what about something new, something that combined some of these things into a new thing, a better thing, something that interests me… something R/C?? Now there’s an idea worth working on! My Arduino IR Robot Display Platform (R.O.M.A.N.) got disassembled (and Instructabled) last summer… Maybe it’s time for Rev. 2.
Introducing “ROB”, the Strobe R/C Robot.
The design is simple and completely open source: A two wheel drive rover base, with an Arduino Uno for navigation and secondary displays/extra sensors, with an Adafruit Motor Shield to power the wheels. On top we have an Arduino Mega to run the main display: a 8x10 LED Matrix made from 8 rows of 10 LEDs each, ZigZag pattern. This can be replaced by any other WS8212B/NeoPixel compatible individually addressable LED Matrix, but this is the only one I’ve got so it’s what I’ll use. Other LEDs will be in use around the edges of the robot for secondary effects as well. All of the parts (except maybe the Uno) can be switched for other components to suit individual users’ needs, hence the open source part.
The remote will be a custom, Arduino Nano-based IR controller, because RF is difficult to use with Arduino and this robot is more likely to be for indoor, dim-room, or nighttime use due to the LEDs, as sunlight will diminish their awesomeness considerably.
I have calculated the approximate cost as 120 (USD $135), so this is not a cheap project unless you already have most of the parts (like I did).”

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