Let's Make Robots!

My first robotics project and introduction into the world of electronics in general. I was going to grab the Parallax BOE Bot but while doing my research I ran across the Arduino board and all the interesting projects being developed on it. That along with the C/C++ based language led me to chose it over the BASIC stamp from Parallax.

After following the (good?) advice of looking for cheap parts at garage sales I came back from my first expedition with 3 RC cars for 75 cents so I figured Id just build my first robot from one of these. While the construction is going much slower than if Id bought a kit Im having a blast figuring out the most trivial of integration issues and learning a bit as well.

Currently heres whats in a state of "mostly works" (I enable/disable certain capabilities when working on new ones, they occassionally work when I hook it all back up):

  • SN75441NE controlling 2 motors (rear motor controls forward & reverse, front motor controls left & right). 12 volts seems to be needed to get the motor, motoring. Odd since theres a place for 2 "AA" batteries in the body. This is no where near enough juice with my configuration. Not sure what Im doing wrong here but more power seems to overcome the issue.
  • ADNS-2610 optical mouse innards mounted between the rear wheels captures "distance" travelled - there may be a fundemental flaw in this design since the distance measured varies depending on motor speed. Lesson learned: I think a stepper motor solves this whole mess but it was cool interfacing the optical reader.

Next steps:

  • Mount a servo that will sweep a Sharp GP2Y0A21YK IR Proximity sensor which will intially be used for avoidance meandering. The idea is this: the sweeping servo combined with the IR sensor can detect the best path, then translate this into forward and lateral movements.
  • Create a custom motor sheild, I really want to solder something! Plus I want my breadboard back for other explorations.



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amando96's picture

Good job man, I prefer robots that where made from old toys, hacks etc, over kits, proper DIY makes them unique :-)