Let's Make Robots!

Vac Bot

Autonomous line following bot


This is my new autonomous line following bot starting to take shape and a much more slicker design than my last bot attempt.

It's made out of clear perspects and the actual design is based on the Ardbot which was published in the Servo Magazine some time back.

Currently has clear pan/tilt bracket head i made up using a micro servo with a Sharp IR and SRF05 sensor mounted on it, not sure if there is a huge benefit using both sensors but i guess i will find out.

Also uses bumper switches and light sensors, and underneath an IR sensor array for line following. Still a work in progress and will be working on the circuits and the code for it and will post a video once it is running..


Update: 27/11/11

Have all the sensors mostly wired in and using breadboards for now mounted on a Pololu expansion plate to give me room. Added rechargable Ni-Mh batteries and jack i took out of our 12v rechargeable vacum cleaner that the wife almost threw out on me.

Currently using bumper switches which work quite well but i want to replace them with IR sensors down low front and back. Once i have finished testing and altering circuits i will make and solder them on a proper PCB board. Then i will expand on it and make it a 3 teir which will nearly make it twice the height it is now.

Have the code working ok now just needs a bit of tweaking. There is still alot i want to do and add to it and am wondering would i be best off to upgrade to a Arduino mega or try and use 2x Atmega328's?



Posted 20/11/11

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Very nice layout. Technically speaking, you should notice the benefit of having both IR and Sonar. IR has problems with certain colors. I believe black absorbs IR better than white. And, sonar has issues with soft or fuzzy objects. Soft, fuzzy objects are not as hard as solids, so, they will not be as readily identified by sonar.

Thanks for the info, i currently have it programmed to use sonar as it roams and every 15secs it will stop and do a pan/tilt scan using IR then decide whether to turn left or right, then continue on using sonar. Not sure about this is better option or just to have it scan using sonar and IR all the time and that way may help it to be more responsive to objects, but in saying that i am planning to use IR sensors in place of bumpers at the bottom which will make it more responsive i guess.

You do know that IR sensors tend to have a blind spot from 0 to an inch or two from the sensor?

I have said this many times, I have read a number of books and I know one for sure mentioned graceful degradation(?). Basically, use long range sensors and trust them until you start getting conflicting data from shorter range sensors, so on and so forth down the line until you finally run into something and decide that maybe your other sensors aren't doing their job. :)

Ok thanks i'll keep that in mind.