University of Dundee, UK, student Tim Pryde attempted to experiment with charity collection with his robot called "Don-8r" (loosely pronounced "donator"). At the heart of the Don-8r is an array of PICAXE 18X chips, also known as a PIC16F88 loaded with a Basic Stamp P-Code interpreter. One PICAXE 18X controls the wheels, via a L293D motor driver, and has limit switches directly connected. And another PICAXE 18X is connected to the coin slot that instructs the other on what to do with a coin or coins are entered into the bot. A VMUSIC2 mp3 player is interfaced to a PICAXE 28X1 for all audio playback. A series of RGB LEDs are also connected to the various control boards. 8 AA batteries power the system by being configured into two groups of 4 supplying 6V.
The motors are from kits bought through a now discontinued magazine called Real Robots. Apparently, the magazine came with motors and such for building projects. Below is a picture of the wheel assembly Pryde received by contacting the former publisher of Real Robots. Looks handy, I am including the pic to see if anyone knows where to get the setup.
At the end of the video a person breaks the Don-8r, but an update on Tim Pryde's blog site states he forgives her. Also at the site, see the overall construction of the bot's materials and shape from start to finish. Side question, where is the charitable donations going?
The real problem will come when the robots go into business for themselves and start taking their cut of the proceeds. We all know how much greed can motivate people, just think what it could do to advance an AI system.