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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.

What is that "everything else" exactly? Additional logic, a.k.a. a bigger brain. All the prior generations and species of Herbert robotic life forms have included a single logic circuit. This logic circuit came in the form of the solar engine used to power the Herberts. In a logic diagram it would simply be the question, "Do I have enough power?" Nothing complex, but still a logic circuit. The rest of the previous designs contained no other logic circuitry. Even the light detection for the motors was not a true logic circuit, instead being an analog change that produced a slightly modified outcome.

That all is changing with species D, as I add the next logic circuit to this infant species. Basically Herbert will be going from a robot with a brain of less than a single neuron, to a robot with a brain of, well, still less than a single neuron. But that neuron is growing in ability.

Sometime over this next week I will get the schematics posted, as well as an explanation for what went where and why. Until then, let logic be your guide.

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