Let's Make Robots!

I want to try my hand at a robot vehicle.

Good day to you all,

Thank you for having such a great and informative page. I’m sure there are dozens of threads about this, rather then sifting through tons of pages…


I want to build a vehicle using a motor (?) a capacitor or two, a few switches and a power supply. I want the actuators/switches to change the polarity of the capacitors when it comes in contact with say…a wall, thus making it reverse.


As for the motor, can I use one and employ some sort of torque converter for wheels? Should I use separate motors for each wheel?


I’ll also need a battery pack; should I go with higher voltage and just step it down?


Lastly, what does anyone think of using PSPICE to put the circuit diagram together? It sure would make the calculations easier, you know ideal vs. real and all that jazz. Anything you can offer would be greatly appreciated, exception being snark and sarcasm. Thanks.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Wow, thank you both for the input; it’s greatly appreciated. I suppose I should have used better terminology. I understand you can’t “switch polarity” per se. I just wanted to make a point simply as I could. As for the parts I mention, there is a great amount of flexibility I can accommodate. What you’ve both explained is pretty much what I want it to do. This is to be a simple and fun project, yet relatively inexpensive and I’m not above swiping parts from other devices. I just don’t want a kit in a box but rather something to build that is intelligent enough to change directions when it comes in contact with something.


Both of you gentlemen links are awesome, “an autonomous turd-combine that deposits its treasure in a standard disposable grocery bag”, that is the funniest thing I’ve read in a while.


Right, to clear it all up I’m thinking something like the Lego mindstorm, but again DIY. Can I use a PLC to tell it what to do?


Would a diode and relay be more costly? It sounds like a terrific idea. One last stupid question (for now) do you calculate voltage, current etc during your design phase? Assuming a top-down approach, or just by gosh and by golly as you go along? If not using pspice or what ever SW, what is the best way to go about determining power need?


Thank you again! Chuck.

Thank You

I would like to thank all you guys for doing a great job. I am an old retired guy who just build himself his first robot. I purchased the LMR Instant Robot Starter Kit. It’s wonderful for having all the help and all the trials on line from all the robot builders. The pictures and the instructions on line were great.

I did have some problems with loading USB Download cable drivers. After a number of tries with the self extracting  file and not finding the hardware I used the AXE027.zip. Extracting the contents it created DIR axe027. Running it loaded up the driver with no problem.

The kit came with a  gearbox motor that did not fit the wheel  but I did drill the wheel to accept the axle and it works fine. Now is the time to play with the program and all the possibilities.