MOONBOTS 2011 robot design proposal
June 20, 2011
Me and a couple of my friends are participating the moonbots 2011 challenge. This is our robot design proposal. Please do read it and suggest improvements
The chassis of the robot is one of the most essential in the robot design. Our chassis would have a good ground clearance to avoid getting stuck on the surface of the moon. It would also have to be compact and it should be very balanced overall. We also have a 2 DOF arm on the chassis to collect samples of the precious minerals on the surface of the moon. The arm would be controlled by 2 motors, one which would control the movement of the arm and the other would control the gripper of the arm which would collect the samples. Since only one DOF would not be practical for the movement of the arm as collecting the sample would require the arm to move 2 joints, we plan to create a system which can move both the base and the joint which contacts the surface. We plan to use 4 wheel system with a 3-5 cm ground clearance with LEGO wheels. If there are enough outputs, then we will make it a true 4WD system capable of manoeuvring through lunar craters efficiently. We plan to model our chassis similar to current systems used by NASA
The sensors play a major role in this competition as the robot is wholly autonomous. The team figured that the NXT intelligent brick has limited I/O (input/output), we plan to use the sensor multiplier manufactured by LEGO. That way we can control the 4 motors plus a whole array of sensors. We plan to use a compass sensor for guiding our robot with compass waypoints. We also would have a light sensor to reach the peak of eternal light and identification of resources.
Programming will be the biggest challenge in making the robot. The team is unfamiliar with LABVIEW and only started working with LEGO a month ago. We also realise power is going to be an issue here so we thought that for optimum efficiency, the sensors which are only required will be in active mode and the other processes will be in standby. Also, in the harsh lunar night, the robot will be in standby to safe power and we will try to reduce the weight of the robot so that the stall current of motors will be less and less current will be drawn from the power pack. We would also use a combination of ultrasonic sensors and a compass sensors for heading and object detection and we will use an ultrasonic sensor inverted 45⁰ to see the way in front and to prevent falling in deep craters
It is not done fully and i have nobody to point out stupid mistakes. so i hope you will do so.