Let's Make Robots!

LineIronBot (Hacked Iron Line Follower)

Iron.bas2.04 KB

LineIronBot is my latest robot. I have hacked my dead iron and now it is functioning line follower robot! :D

I was thinking of building a line follower for a few months now, even ordered bunch of reflectance sensors, but real inspiration did not visit me till my wife told me we need a new iron :D I looked at our old one and told myself: This is going to be my line follower robot! :) 

So, The parts used so far:

  • Old electric iron :D
  • Picaxe 28 pin project board and Picaxe 28x1 MCU
  • 2 x geared motors from Dagu
  • 2 wheels ripped off from cheapy toy
  • Ball caster
  • Blue LED
  • 3 x QDR1114 reflectance sensors 
  • Switch
  • Resistors: 1x330R, 1x100R, 3x10K
  • Wires
  • Battery holder
  • finally, 4 x NiMH AA rechargebles

First of all I had to get rid of heating element and cut off some plastic from inside to make some room for batteries and project board. Openings for wheels cut as well. These I got rid of:

Then components fixed inside:

Indicator replaced by an LED and switch fit in:

Line sensors soldered into piece of perfoboard and hot glued to chassis as well as ball caster and motors:


 Here are pictures of my hacked LineIronBot, complete and easy to store :D

I have attached a small test video, unfortunately I ran out of black insulating tape, so the track is very short :D

I'm thinking of adding more functionality to LineIronBot in future, possibly light seeking. And I want to use the temperature select dial for switching between line follow and light seek modes.

Update 28-Sep-2010

Finally I returned to this project to finish it. Thanks to Open OFFLINE robotics competition. I had to spend some time debugging the code and making it more robust for interruptions in line. I also added external programming socket, which is already became a tradition with my bots :D

The new video shows LineIronBot completing the competition track in little over 50 seconds. I have uploaded my code as well.


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   First the running alarm clock, now the robotic steam iron. You are truly an appliace guy. lol
That is epic!

  "All Ironing Belong Us"

That is one perfect idea for the lazy LMRer (....just kidding - there is no such thing as a lazy LMRer)

That is one smooth fast turning bot - the  front castor works very efficiently.

...... shall i sponsor you some insulating tape.......

......How about some Steam Effect (model trains have a simple "Smoke" system - (cant find links at momment - stay tuned))

Smoke effect is perfect! I was wondering how to get it done without actually steam :) Thought of dry ice, but it is all not too much use... Would be perfect if you find any links for that "smoke" system! :D Thanks a lot!
He he, I love this idea :)
Haha so clever and awesome! Would be so much more awesome if the iron still worked then all you'd have to do is put some lines on your shirts and you'd be set!
Haha, yeah, I thought of that :) Maybe in future when I become super-mature-cool-robot-builder, I will design such a thing and become a milionaire :D
Yeah but then again wouldn't that just remove the point of getting married? :P
ROFL :))))))))
That is the greatest thing ever!