I am currently a senior in high school, so soon I get to pick a college to go to. I have been constructing robots for about four wonderful years now, and I do not see an end in sight.
Recent Skill Badges earned by Patrick McCabe
Have you used a super intense beam of light to burn right through a material lately? Using a laser cutter is a valuable skill in building enclosures, sculptures, robot frames, and tons of other projects. Whether you're using the smallest weakest laser cutters or a giant industrial laser meant for cutting through sheets of steel, you've managed to harness the power of light, and sometimes some air, as a valuable tool. You've learned how to make your plans into something the laser cutter can use. You've learned how to set it up safely and efficiently so you get nice clean cuts. You've assembled your perfectly cut pieces in exactly the way you envisioned at the beginning, and now you've earned a badge!
A Special Note from Ladyada & the Adafruit Team
We met Patrick on Adafruit's weekly "SHOW-AND-TELL" using Google+ hangouts (video here). Patrick not only created this fantastic robot; he really shows how great projects can be photographed as well. Rocky the robot was created out of the desire to have a robot that he could show and share with others. He wanted it to look good and be easy to use. We think Patrick has done a fantastic job and he's really learned how to use the laser cutter. Patrick congrats on the laser badge!
Project Images & Videos
Rocky is a 2 wheeled robot, using the weight of its body as a pendulum to keep it up right. If you've ever had a chance to play with this style of robot, you'll know that the pendulum body doesn't always work smoothly, hence the name "Rocky". Packed inside the custom cut body are distance sensors, light sensors, an Xbee transceiver, and even some custom surface mount PCBs that Patrick designed in EagleCad. You can check out tons of great pictures of the robot throughout the entire build process as well as download his schematics, EagleCad files on his site.
In the video check out how Rocky is pretty quick and fairly solid. We really like that he has two different color LEDs on the ends so you always know which way it is facing. Without that, you wouldn't know which way was forward at a glance.