Let's Make Robots!

Megabot can drum! (kind off)

a platform for future experiments
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This i a robot i am working on as a part of a school project. this is the first functioning prototype, it is made useing laser cut 3mm acrylic sheet in an assembly that can be bolted together. it is controlled using an arduino mega and uses continuous rotation servos to move. At the moment it only has one sensor, a parallax ping distance sensor, however following versions will include line sensors, light sensors and 2 additional IR distance sensors to aid obstical avoidence. it also has a serial controlled 20X4 LCD text display.

       i am pleased with the chassis design, while i can see areas that can be improved on ibelive the design offers some big advantages. first of all it can turn within its own area, the construction method used also makes it pretty robust, unlike my previous robots it is not in a constant state of being about to fall appart :P

       aspects of the desighn will change in following updates but the form will remain largley the same. ive attached some pictures that show the construction in detail, and i will post a vid soon.





ok ive added a quick video, nothing special but you can see how the bot has a turning circle of 0. im still working on a proper code and will keep updating when somthing interesting happens. i may record a short video on manufacturing method i.e CAD drawing to laser cutting.


update 2


 i spent the day at university today designing a cad model of a part to attach the PING sensor to the microservo,  it is currently being produced on a rapid prototyping machine. ive gradually been redesigning parts of the robot and preparing to make the next prototype. here sre some pictures of current components:Capture.jpgCapture2.jpg

all of the parts for the robot were designed on Autodesk inventor 2010, i find it quite an easy package to use and it is free to download if you are a student.

i will uload a video of the laser cutting process aswell as the next prototype soon :)





The final chassis design is now complete (pictured at the top of the page). i have worked some more on the design, im pretty pleased with how its turned out. At the moment the electronics are unchanged but thats next in the list. I also want to make some extra parts that can attached to the chassis to add extra functions. 

there is more information on my blog : http://ukmaker.blogspot.com/ 

but for now heres some more pics:






  The drumming robot revolution started with the now world famous yellow drum machine. I've wanted to make a drumming robot for a while, and after finishing this shiny new base, i thought it would be a nice project to start with. 

I'm using 2 microservos and attached to each is a small telescopic ariel, these make nice drumsticks :) The video shows the robot doing its current druming sequence, this is only my first attempt and the timings need some work but yo can see the general idea. ther are 2 drum loops and a dance sequence at the moment it goes as so ; drum1, drum1,drum2, dance you might also have noticed the big glowy dome on the middle layer, under this there is a tri colour LED to give that bit of extra sparkle.

i also created a new obstical evaison program this also needs work, you can see the glitches in the video. over the next few weeks i am going to be adding new sensors and posibly making it talk/respond to speach. the chassis is pretty much complete now and in the spirit of opensourceness i will share all the part files but i need to wait for my school project to finish to make sure im not accused of plagiarism.

as ever, more on my blog http://ukmaker.blogspot.com/




I have recently updated the obsticle evasion code, there is a new video at the top. The code has also been attached. This is the first code i have written that adoptes the contant scanning sensor method. It took me a while to work out but it seems to be working relitivly well. i was quite suprised that there were no guides on how to get the arduino to do this task so i may write one :P 

     my next step is to intergrate the drumming code into the obsticle evasion code, i would like the robot to start drumming based on a user input, a clap for example. if anyone can recomend a good clap/sound sensor it would be very helpful... More soon!!




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yeah the mega could be a bit ott, but being a school project, i had a design breif and part of that was to let it have room for expantion, i know im going to be using at least 2 of the serial com ports at once.

     the I/O expantion shield is verry nice, especialy if u get a load of servo extender wires you can conect any analog sensor with ground and power verry neatly. the only problem is if you use the servo power input that suply is used for the power pins for all of the digital I/O's

Very nice indeed, someone is getting an A+ :D

i'm now trying to make a robot with 0 turning angle, becomes a hard task when you're limited in what materials you can have access to! :(


keep up the good work! 

Love the video :) First time someone did that, I think! :D
Great chassis! I love the way you did with the acrylic colors, and the possibility that everything is bolted together! Good work! ;)

The chassis is very professional. Ever thought to start a business and start selling them? :)

 There's never too many robot chassis on the market. 

It had crossed my mind, but i would have no idea where to start tbh.


Pretty cool design. I would call the robot "Oskar the drummer" according to the novel "The Tin Drum" by Günter Grass.

Is it able to play some songs? Would be cool if it could play something like "In the air tonight" by Phil Collins :-) Or  give the rhythm to a song it hears.

BTW, here is a picture I took here in Shanghai in the Science and Technology Museum. This robot is able to play piano to a song you choose for karaoke.


Thanks for posting your evasion code.  That will come in handy as I learn how to make C++ control my robot.