Let's Make Robots!

My Simple Bot

Move IR sensor, check distance, stop in front of obstacles, checks both directions, turns to side with more free space (mostly :/)

This simple bot is my first larger project. I still have no clue about the fundamentals of electricity or electronics (and never soldered anything in my life till last weekend) but was fascinated by the possibilties.

After some "research" on Google and Youtube I ordered all necessary parts online - except the foamboard used for the chassis which comes from the local home improvement store.

The base is built of cutted foamboard and glued together. The motors are fixed with double sided tape, same for the servo that moved the IR sensor. As you see the breadboard is nearly empty as I decided to use the Arduino motor shield for my first experiments.

The robot is powered by 6x1,5V AA batteries and moves quite slowly. The IR sensors is moved right/left while averaging the mean distance out of 3 measures. If a certain minimal distance is reached the bot stops, looks left and right to check the free distance availabe, turns into the best direction and goes on.

All functionality fits into a few lines sketch because I did no calibration for motor speed or turn angles at all (except a bit with the servo), at the moment it is all just tinkering around.

Anyway, I am intrigued of the Arduino project and its great to be able to create some real moving things after years of software development :)

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You did a very good job putting your first robot together. The construction looks very good, and the program appears to work fine.

If you are looking to add something... 

Your sensor is mounted quite high. Your robot works well in the enviroment shown in your video. However, if there was a low object in the way, it would get stuck. The sensor would never see it.

A nice enhancement to your project would be to add two bump switches to the front corners. Mount them so that they cover the extreme left and right dimensions of your robot (the wheels), You can also connect the two switches with something flexible, like plastic tubing or a zip tie. This will detect bumps along the front.

This addition will test your ability to deal with switch de-bouncing (look it up if you don't know), processing with the additional inputs, and integrating it all with your IR sensor.