Week 4: My Scribbler 2 has arrived!

I arrived home yesterday to find, sitting on my doorstep, this bad-boy:

Scribbler 2

(He was inside a box, obviously, but it’s more fun to pretend that he just drove up to my door.)

I ran through the instruction manual and experimented using the different sensors and playing with the built-in modes, which included a cool line-following mode as well as an exploration & obstacle avoidance mode.

Unfortunately, I almost immediately realized that this puppy does not support Bluetooth connectivity out of the gate.  Having it tethered to my PC via a Cable is going to be a nuisance, so I ordered a IPRE Fluke2 board.  The Fluke2 connects to the Scribbler II via the serial port and allows Bluetooth connectivity, as well as providing a low-resolution camera that may be fun to play with.  Once he has his Fluke2 board, my Scribbler will look like this:

Scribbler with Fluke

While I wait for the Fluke2 to arrive, I have begun brainstorming about the types of tasks I want the user to be able to assign via natural language:

  • Movement — Movement control, speed controls, composite movement instructions (i.e. “move forward for 4 seconds then turn left 90 degrees”)
  • Sensor Queries — Is an object in front?  On the left or right?  Is there a detectable line beneath?
  • LED Light Control — Control which of the 3 LED lights are turned on.  Other possibilities including flashing or siren modes. Also control the Fluke2 “ultra bright” LED.
  • Sound Control — Play a basic tune, or just some beeps & boops.
  • Miscellaneous — preprogrammed “fun” routines.  A draw mode, a dance mode, etc.  Remaining battery power queries.

I’m not sure if it’s feasible, but I would also love to show the camera feed in the window next to the command input, to aid in controlling.

I also decided that I want my program to have the option to display the actual code that it is sending to the Scribbler II.  This would give the program some utility as a Python education tool.

The bulk of my work this week will be on starting the Natural Language Processing component.  Prolog, here I come…

Justin working in the ACC.

Coding away in the ACC.


  • Come up with a name for the program I’m writing, so I’m not just constantly saying “my program”.
  • Come up with a name for my Scribbler!
About the Author: Justin
A 34 year old Software Engineer in Seattle, WA with a love for coding, music, video games, and the great outdoors.
Author Website: http://www.justinmangue.com

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