The Penguin Robot is a bipedal robot with two directions of freedom, using two servos for walking. It is a precision-machined 4" tall biped with an embedded BASIC Stamp 2px24 microcontroller. The Penguin walks forward with a tilt-stride action and turns by sweeping both feet on the ground in opposite directions.
The Penguin brain is based on a BS2PX24 module, which is the highest performing of all the BASIC Stamp microcontrollers, featuring the following technical specifications:
- Processor Speed: 32 MHz Turbo
- Program Execution Speed: ~19,000 instructions/sec.
- RAM Size: 38 Bytes (12 I/O, 26 Variable)
- Scratch Pad RAM: 128 Bytes
- EEPROM (Program) Size: 8 x 2K Bytes ~4,000 Instructions
- Programming language: PBasic
The Penguin includes the following I/O devices:
- 1 Hitachi HM55B Digital Compass sensor, which enables it to know its exact orientation
- 2 Photoresistors for light following/avoidance
- 2 Infrared emitters and an infrared receiver for object detection
- 1 Blue seven-segment LED for feedback
- 2 Micro servos for tilt and stride
- 1 Piezospeaker in body underneath battery pack
- 1 Expansion port for connecting other input/output components
- 1 Power switch located adjacent to battery pack
- 1 FTDI 232RL mini USB programming port (used to download the software from the PC)
- 1 Blue power indicator LED
The robot is powered by 2 CR123 batteries.
Assembling and programming
The Penguin Robot is sold in kit, and requires a few hours to be assembled. It is not a pre-programmed toy, but rather a hobbyist robot programming platform, since it operates according to the program that the user downloads in it. However, several ready-to-run programs are freely available, released by the supplier (Parallax) and by other users on the Web.
Some of these programs allow it to sing, dance, move autonomously to North or toward the light, avoiding obstacles.