This week (Week of 2/7/05), we built a simple "robot" consisting of a servo motor, a battery pack, some basic circuitry, and a USB interface.
Victoria assembled the robot. First, she soldered the parts for the battery interface together, then connected the battery interface and servo to the circuit board. The circuit board already has a serial port. We used a serial to USB adaptor to connect the entire assembly to a computer via USB.
Unfortunately, attempts to control the servo motor by hooking the USB to serial connector up to one of our computers failed. On both Victoria's and Steph's laptops, the Java program to control the servo motor fails because of an NullPointerException. We'll be working with Prof. Dodds to get that sorted out by next week.