JSOxford NodeBots Day

“The problem with hardware is that there is no version control” – Marcus Noble

JSOxford’s NodeBots day marks one year since I first used JavaScript (ish). At last year’s event I took an Arduino and used the johnny-five library to control it using Node. It was fun to make, but wasn’t really that impressive.

This time round, JSOxford had a bunch of Espruino Pico boards and plenty of hardware to hack around with, including continuous servos and wheels.

Somehow I managed to convince my brother to come along too, even though he’s hardly done any programming. Many people were soldering components onto a PCB specially designed by Gordon, inventor of the Espruino. However there wasn’t a soldering iron on our table and my hands aren’t exactly the steadiest after a coffee, so we decided it would be just as fulfilling to push components onto a breadboard and attach motors with blu-tac instead.

After a burrito-packed lunch provided by Haybrook IT, we came up with a robot that follows torchlight. It has 2 light sensors and it turns in the direction of whatever sensor is picking up the most light. We call it MothBot.

Strangely it only followed light from the Pusher-branded torch. Next time I must remember to bring some LEGO/K’nex along!

I’m very happy with what we managed to make, and I’m really grateful for Pusher, Haybrook, White October and Mr Espruino himself (Gordon Williams), for without their sponsorship/presence, days like this would be impossible to run.

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