So I was able to snag one of the little Rolling Spider quads off a guy on Craigslist for $25! Figured something would be wrong and sure enough, the battery was junk. So I tried to save the battery…recharging lipos that are below 3.3v is risky sometimes but this seemed to charge fine once I got it up to 3.3.
Once I got it charged it powered on fine and I was able to take it for a quick flight! Buuutt…the battery lasted like 15 seconds. I was able to grab a quick picture during flight though!
So…I decided to see if I would figure out what the battery leads do to potentially wire up a better battery to it. You can take off the “face” of the spider and then unscrew the bottom piece. Getting the board out, you have to bend the LED “eyes” up a little so be careful when doing that. I was able to get the board out and solder some wires on to the “inside” leads. Looks like the lead closest to the side (if you’re looking from the top and the “eyes” facing up, it would be the right) is the positive and the other 2 seems to be ground (-). I wired all 3 just in case. It was a pain as I’m not very good at soldering and ended up accidentally putting a glob of solder connecting both negative leads. I had to use my dremel and cut it out. I’m amazed I didn’t cut something else by accident.
Once I got the wires done, I found that I just use the positive and the opposing ground (not the middle) is all it needs to power on! All I had were 2 cell lipos so I rigged it to the top. Needless to say, it was too heavy but it worked!!! Pretty excited! Looks like I’ll be purchasing some 1s lipos in the near future. =)
So I was able to get my hands on a tessel board and it has been a lot of fun! I’ve been toying with simple servo controls all the way to the Bluetooth Low Energy module (learning that from scratch was interesting!).
Using the servos I made a little arm to pick things up…but since it is made out of balsa wood, it is pretty flimsy.
I was able to get my hands on a stepper motor and get that working with the tessel so ideally I’ll keep going the same route to have the “arm” move up and down a track knowing it’s position as it goes. Maybe even have the arm be able to do a full 360 twist as well to be able to work on both sides of the track. Check out a video of what I have so far here.
Will be exciting to see what others pull off with this thing!
Be sure to keep up with what is going on at CES with Engadget’s page (http://www.engadget.com/tag/ces2014/). A lot of cool stuff and updates are on display this year. 2014 could be a very big leap forward with the merge of tablets and PCs!