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Further Experimentation

We think the OOPic is a very cutting-edge piece of hardware that has a promising future in the world of small robots and other embedded systems. Learning it, and any of the OOP languages it speaks, should serve you well in your future robot projects. The robot development platform is popular in so many schools and research labs for a reason. The simplicity of the two-wheel differential drive, the ability to quickly add platform layers, the rounded shape (better for bouncing off of obstacles), and so forth all make it a sensible design for a teaching robot. We achieved all of this, in miniature, with our DiscRover. So, what else can you do with it?

Add a Prototyping Area

The first thing you’re probably going to want to add is a prototyping area. This is a small breadboard that enables you to quickly add and remove sensor components without having to solder or otherwise connect/disconnect anything. Parallax (www.parallax.com) sells a tiny breadboard (1 3/4 inches × 1 1/4 inches) for $4.95 that just fits on the front of your top platform (conveniently located just below the I/O pins of the MCU). It has 34 5-hole tie-point groups, and even has an IC trench! It works exactly the same as a full-size breadboard like the one we detailed in the “Thumbnail Guide to Breadboards” in Chapter 7, “Project 1: Coat Hanger Walker.”


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