Let's Make Robots!

SplatBot X2


SplatBot X2 is one of my many re-creations for DAGU.  Before I came to work for DAGU, splatbot was selected to become a DAGU / LMR robot. It has been one of those projects that keeps getting put aside. This will actually be SplatBot MkIV as Mk III never got finished. I am posting this to show the work that goes into making an LMR robot into a DAGU robot kit.

SplatBot MkI was built Xmas 2008 and was my first robot that did more than avoid obstacles.
SplatBot5_small.jpg

SplatBot MkII was more sophisticated and less clumsy, it could write LMR in 2 colours.IMG_0048.jpg

SplatBot MkIII was just getting started, using my 6WD chassis when I was contacted by Jack from DAGU. I started to rebuild MkII for DAGU but many things were not suitable for a mass produced robot so I really had to start from the beginning with wheels and motors that were cheap and easy for DAGU to obtain. Thus SplatBot MkIV began.


Dagu was happy with the mecanno style frame and sent me sample wheels and motors to experiment with.
China_Splatbot_bare_chassis_1__small_.jpg
China_Splatbot_water_pump_4__small_.jpg
China_Splatbot_water_tanks_6__small_.jpg

 This was sent to China for their engineer Gao to begin work with. Soon after I moved to China. Gao had a metal prototype made and I redesigned the schematic to work with the new picaxe 28X2 (click on image for full sized diagram).

SplatBot_China_Schematic__small_.jpg

I have tried to make this robot as versatile as possible utilising the new X2 features. There is an I2C/SPI socket to allow interfacing with most of the breakout boards available such as memory and real time clocks. There are enough analog and digital I/Os available to add the compound eye (IR tracking) or even to replace the gun turret and waterbottles with a small robot arm.

new_PCB__small_.jpg

This is the prototype PCB. The motor control circuit is identical to the Mr. Basic motor controller but using FETs. The third FET being used to control the waterpump. Another board may be made later that can stack above this with a 3.3V regulator, Xbee socket, RTC etc. depending on sales.

Here is the metal prototype as it is (15-10-2009)
SplatBot_X2_prototype_1__small_.jpg

The gun turret needs to be moved back to allow for the PCB being longer than anticipated. Batteries and waterpump need to be fitted.

 

 

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What is the diameter of the wheels? I am looking for similar sized ones.
These wheels are 65mm in diameter. See our price list:http://letsmakerobots.com/node/9419

The above links to SplatBot MkI & MkII should give you a pretty good idea.

Does the 'MkIV' have anything in the way of suspension OddBot?

Unfortunately we have to keep the cost down. As you might expect, the cheaper the kit is, the better it sells. If you buy the 6WD chassis we are prototyping and put this kit on it then you'll have a mean fire fighting robot.
I was thinking that you'd have trouble if the powered middle wheels were out of contact with the ground, but looking closer at the main photo I see that you've set the middle axles slightly lower like you did with the other SplatBots =)
Yes, it helps with the steering if there is more traction with the middle wheels. The front and back wheels would actuallybe functionally better if they were caster wheels but it wouldn't look as good.