Let's Make Robots!

Line Follow PCB's

I just got an order of PCB's in and well, I just gotta show them off...

This is a line follow sensor with onboard i/o expander. All 8 sensors can come in (via i2c) in a nice, clean binary byte while still giving you access to each individual sensor if you like. There are 2 mounting positions allowing a forward posistion for curvy line-follow as well as a "closer to the robot" mount for straight-line maze stuff. If nothing else, I am posting to remind folks that boards do not have to be square! Radius your corners, add some details --Don't be afraid of curves, my friends!

Yes, I know that I could have used those "resistor arrays" instead of (16) individual resistors, but this is the prototype and I wanted to order the fewest number of parts for testing. The final version will be a lot more tidy.



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What components does this board use as sensors? Thanks,


First off...those are damn good-lookin' boards Chris! Square boards are just so...square looking. Out of curiosity, is there enough strength in the PCB to use it as part of a chassis? The picture in my head is of the motors mounted directly to those four holes with the controller board on top.

Secondly...going by the prices/sizes, would I be right in thinking that you're getting your boards from Seeedstudio? If so, how do you rate their services & the final product? I've 4-5 board designs that I need done and they seemed to be the best prices for low volumes (when I finally get my pc back to Gerber them!)

If you need single sided boards done fast, let me know, I produce my own boards and I have perfected them, just shoot me a PM and we can discuss the price. I charge about 2 dollars per square inch, which is pretty cheap, and I can also populate and tin the boards for you too.

Yes, these do indeed fit a partictular project. Not that they would not fit if they were square --they would, but they would also be heavier. If the rear mounting holes are used, the whole unit sorta sticks out into nowhere --keeping the outline as small as I could was to prevent sagging.

The price is fixed. I am paying around $25 for (10) 10cm*10cm boards. The size and shape do not effect the price just as long as the final shape will fit in that 10x10 square. The only problem that you run into is when your board is "just a little too big" for one particular size pcb and you need to go up to the next size. I.e. just a bit bigger than 5x5 and so you have to order a 10x10 --there is no real problem here, just the fact that it kills you to know you are paying for a whole bunch of board that is going to end up in the trash at a factory in China. I pay around $5 for shipping and the whole process from order to in-my-hands is around 4 weeks.

Just one question on the shape of the board. Is the shape designed around other components or is it just to give it a cool look? Would the price change if you had gone for a regular square board and maybe added extra prototyping area on either side? (One can’t get enough prototyping area! :-)