Let's Make Robots!

Advanced Room Exploring Vehicle Model 1 AREVx1

Robotic room exploring robot with changeable modules.
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ARES1 Will pick up where ViPER left off. ViPER was not going to work because of poor planout of the modules and the fact that I did not have a robot body planned for it. ARES1 Is where ViPER failed because of these problems. The first thing I did was make sure that ARES1 uses the same 2x5 header, primarily because it accomodates for all 8 I/O ports and 2 for the power and GND pins. All modules are done on Veroboard, perfboard, etc whatever your local dialect calls them.

The ARES1 System will use the Pololu Round robot chassis (which is excellent), a Tamyia 70097 Gearbox (also perfect, a slight bit squeaky though) and a Metal ball caster, which is the best caster I have seen. The gearbox will run on 4.8VDC, While the electronics will be run on a 5VDC regulated supply. There are possible plans to power it with a Buck/Boost Charge pump. The Motors will have a isolated (the 4.8VDC power pack) supply to eliminate all electrical noise in the nearby circuits. The motors also have spike capacitors to remove high voltage spikes. The motors will be driven with a SN754410 Motor controller, which is perfect in this situation. The Motor supply will also have a voltage charging/monitoring system, where if the voltage drops below 4.45VDC it will signal an LED to indicate it is time to charge the motor batteries. it may be controlled with a dedicated microcontroller just to add to the sophistication. The MCU will be running the ADC's to determine the exact voltage level, which is better than a comparator where it can lose accuracy as its own power supply drops.

Explanation of the pictures:
ARES 001

This is a picture of the main controller board, a 18F2525 (picaxe pfft!) with reset button and reset indicator. The LED indicates when the chip is held in reset. For testing I added a 5VDC regulator and a bulk capacitor. Those will be removed once the power board is complete. In the top of the controller board there are 4 2x5 headers. going from left to right they are: Program port, PORTA PORTB PORTC. The Yellow LED indicates power.


ARES 002

Picture of the ARES1 controller being powered by a 9.6VDC power pack. That will no longer be needed, as there will be a dedicated power board.

ARES 003

Picture of the robot with motor wires hanging out. Those will be shortened and fixed up. Whisker switches/micro switches are also visible with their wires (chopped off PWM servo wires) hanging out. Those will be attached to 3 pin female connectors;

ARES 004

Front of the robot. You can see the motors and the capacitors attached to them. Another shot of the switches.

ARES 005

 Rear of the robot with metal ball caster in position. You can also see the battery pack. it is there to weight the back of it down and to add stability. Overall this robot will be very solid and tough once completed. You may also see the zinc spacers which will accomodate the upper decks. I highly suggest any noob to start out with this, as it is simple to assemble and operate. I myself was unable to properly construct a robot base so instead I went with a precise robot body.

 UPDATE 8-11-08

ARES1 is really starting to come together.

ARES 006
Side view of bumper switches (left, front and right) as well as the battery pack in the back. You can also see all the wires coming out of the side as well, which will be wired up soon.
ARES 007
Front of the robot with the sensors. This will allow ARES to know if it hits any walls and will react accordingly. All programming will be done resembling NAOS multitasking.
ARES 008
Another side view of ARES1. If you see, you will notice and realize that the CD's are smaller than the base, preventing me from drilling through the CD. I had to "Pinch" the CD's with the standoffs to ensure that ARES will not fall apart while driving around, dragging its guts everywhere (ew!).
ARES 009
Sideview of the 2nd platform. You can see all the wires coming out of the very small CD holes. With this many wires through it so far it gets quite difficult to fit headers and etc through it.

 UPDATE 8-16-08

Almost complete.

ARES1 was renamed AREVx1 due to a name issue that I found. ARES1 is the name of NASA's newest lunar vehicle.

AREVx1 will have a LCD module, Sensor interface module (for interfacing the Microswitches, IR rangers (18F2525 has ADacs on every port) gyro (once purchased) and accelerometer (maybe, and I need to buy it)) and a Motor controller module. So far The LCD module and Motor module are complete, all that it needs now is the sensor board and main controller to be finished wiring up. I also need to build a power module to supply the entire robot (except the motors and its respective side of the motor controller) with a stable 5VDC supply. I am going to use a LM7805 until I can purchase a LM2940

 AREVx1 001

This is the front picture of the robot with bumper switches and IR sensors. You can also see the innards of the robot.

AREVx1 002

 Aerial view where you can see the LCD (which will be run in 4 bit mode) and the IR sensors. You can also see the 9VDC battery.

AREVx1 003

 Side view of the 2nd deck. You can see 18F2525 and port A with no 2x5 on it. You can also see the motor controller in the background, with the controller board in the forefront.

 AREVx1 004

 Motor controller board with the green screw connectors and the vital PTC fuse. That will save your robot in a short circuit!

 AREVx1 005

Side view of entire robot.

 

Hope you enjoy the pictures and my hard work.

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Are we ever getting any video on this?
I have been busy elsewhere, and AREV has had none of my affection. I plan on finishing the boards and testing them, and I am wishing to also have RS232 feedback on it, but in short: Not for a while.
Nice bumpers!
I was told you're not supposed to put any kinds of resistors on motors, as I randomizes the speed of the geared motos, I am not sure though. Otherwise. the chassis was a good idea.

 

Those are surge capacitors.

Looks great, Krumlink.

 I love the multi-CD chassis.

Just ordered some MAX608's to turn my 4.8VDC into 5VDC. Excelent.