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Herbert 1701 Species D Generations 1 & 2

The previous Herbert robotic life-forms all had a single logic circuit and while some made use of different components, the results were the same from a logic point of view. If the robot has enough power then do something. Not a very exciting logic circuit, but something necessary for all life, even artificial life. We can continue to use this simple logic design in one form or another, even with very advanced life-forms. Slightly modified it can become: If you are hungry then eat. For now we will leave it as is and continue by adding more logic circuitry to the robots.

The simplest logic circuits available are the same as the logic operators taught in any introductory computer class: NOT, AND, OR & XOR. These logic chips can be made to suit the purposes of the next stage in robotic life-form evolution, but would require a lot of additional support circuitry. Lacking space on the demo platform, we will instead opt for an integrated circuit that can accomplish our next task: which direction is the better power source?

To answer this question Herbert 1701 Species D will make use of a comparator chip. In simplest terms, a comparator takes two inputs and determines whether one input is higher than the other. Generally the inputs are voltage levels that are being compared. The comparison between the two voltages usually produces one of two outputs, either a ground level or an open circuit.

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Herbert 1701 Species D

As life would have it, the Maxim Maxim kicked in during my search to find the items needed to create a proper Photovore competition arena. I had figured the 250W halogen bulb would prove the most difficult to find, but it was the first item knocked off my list. The "common items" -- such as wooden dowels or Melamine board -- seem to be outside of my reach; short of paying a hefty shipping cost. Instead, I have decided to move on.

Based upon the tests and competition I was able to perform with the Herbert 1701 Species C robots it was pretty clear that the variable trigger solar engine is the route to go, proving far superior in most tests, particularly low-light and bright-light conditions. Therefore, this will be the species and generation that continues forward. At least for the time being.

Test Platform TopTest Platform SideSeeing as I have little wish and no money to create new circuit boards for each generation of the Herbert 1701 Species D robots, I have opted to build a simple test platform. While this is nothing fancy -- consisting of a solder-less breadboard, a sheet of plastic, a wheel and some motors -- it will work for the purposes of testing different circuitry configurations, as well as varying components.

As can be seen in the platform images, I have built out the variable solar engine using the Maxim MAX8212 voltage monitor. Throughout this species of Herbert artificial life form I will continue to use this same circuit and will be changing around everything else.

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