Let's Make Robots!

1st robot

Right now, just drive ahead

This is my first robot. It can't do much now, but drive ahaead, since there are no sensors on it yet.

It's a simple robot made from a Tamiya Twin gearbox and some Tamiya wheels. The body is created from some old toys I had lying around. The rear end is supported by some plastic gizmo, that I found. What you probably can't see is, that the support is not perfectly centered, so in the first test, it dragged the robot to the left. I'll find a way to center the thing and maybe find something with less friction.

One other problem is that the gearbox is open. When it tried to drive over the carpet, the carpet got stuck in the sprockets and the vehicle stopped. I'll have to mount a cover under it to avoid this.

For sensors, I think I'll start out with a line follower. Then later, I'll go for a distance sensor.

Bottom view


I just added a servo and a range sensor:

With sensor




...making it a "real" robot. Next task is to program it to avoid crashing into stuff.

I see this robot as more of a "platform" than a real robot. The frame can be used to add all sorts of sensors and test them. The frame in the front could be used to mount a pcb with line sensors, for example.

Hope you like it

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First problem: The little pin on the underside (see picture of bottom) gets stuck between the floorboards. When it doesn't, the motor pulls just fine. I might want to go for belts instead of wheels or change the support pin for something larger.

Half a tennis table-ball often works wonders :)

/ Frits

or just make something that holds a table tennis ball inside and lets it rotate freely - that'll give you close to zero resistance.

- Jimmy

A) I'll get back, when I finish the first program

B) My sensor came without cables, but with an angled row of pins. The connector is from an old computer-connector. Think it was a dual USB port. I removed one row of wires and moved one of the wires (only 4 wires are used).

C) Later. I'll try my own code first. ;) 

A) Hey, how's the gearing and motor-juice? Can it pull itself etc?

B) What´s that smart cable-thingey, the blue one on the SRF05? Did you attach that to the cable yourself? How?

C) Try - if you want - to paste this code and see what it does, just for the fun of it: http://letsmakerobots.com/node/254 Tell me if you can make it work?

Thanks for sharing!! I think it is a cool idea, good thinking with a test-platform! (and robot in the same)

/ Frits

In supermarkets they have trolleys. In some, on the trolleys, there are ads for whashing-powder etc. These ads are made out of plastic, and you can take it off easily. This plastic is stif, but like paper; perfect to cut with a scissors, and tape over the open parts of the gearbox :)

/ Frits 

Nice tip. You should put it in the tip's'tricks section as a general building material. I'll use some plastic or cardboard to cover it. In general, you should avoid getting dust and dirt into the gearcase, because it will stick to the gerase you apply to the sprockets when you assemble the gearbox

You're so right about the things sticking to the grease... I have vivid memories of very sandy gearboxes in old Tamiya R/C cars :-).

Very nice and colorful vehicle you have created! You sure have lots of holes to mount sensors and stuff - endless possibilities! :-)

- Jimmy

Colourful indeed :) It's an old Meccano-like set called Merkur, that I have. It's perfect for making robots and the spacing of the holes matched the mounting holes of the gearbox. Unfortunately, the axles of the track and wheels set are too small, so I'll have to make some mountings myself. But that will have to wait for the next robot.