I'm doing some major upgrades of the HullPixelbot devices at the moment. They are all getting distance sensors, autonomous behaviours and over the air updates.
Most of which works. Today I found that one of my distance sensors, and one of my Arduino Pro-Mini devices were faulty. They looked fine, but didn't work some of the time.
In the past I might have kept them, in the forlorn hope that perhaps one day I could fix them and save some money. These days I throw suspect parts as far away as I can. The reason is that, in our house at any rate, broken parts have a habit of finding their way back into the system, so that I have to rediscover that they are broken all over again, which is tiresome and time wasting.
In this case I'm down around two quid. That seems a fairly small price to pay for not having to spend half an hour trying to figure out why my code isn't working, when in fact the hardware is broken.
One reason for all this effort is that I'm giving a seminar at Hull University on the 1st of February all about the Hull Pixelbots. It's at 2:00 pm. I'm not sure where yet, but if you want to come along and find out how you can build a Pixelbot all of your own, then it would be great to see you.
I'll also be taking the new Pixelbots into the c4di hardware meetup tomorrow. You can sign up here.