braitenberg robot with arduino

Here is a good project for those who want to start with robotics. Fairly simple and if you are using a breadboard there is no soldering involved. It is a vehicle that follows a light source using two LDRs, two servo motors, two wheels and an Arduino as its brain. The two LDRs are placed one on the left and one on the right side of the vehicle and each one controls the motor from the opposite side.

Although this project can be done using discrete components alone, using an Arduino allows you to further develop the project. Light is detected by the two LDRs. Each LDR is connected in series with a resistor between Vcc and ground forming a voltage divider. The joint point between the LDR and the resistor is connected to one of the Arduino’s analog inputs.

You will need to play a little bit with the values of the resistor so that you get the right sensitivity for light detection. A variable resistor could be very handy. The motors who spin the wheels are two hacked servo motors. Since servo motors don’t spin 360 degrees there is a way explained in the project to transform them into gear motors.

Servo motors are however pretty easy to control with the microcontroller. You have a center value which will make the motor stand still and if you add or subtract  from that value it will make it go forward or reverse. You will need to run a few tests to determine these values and to adjust the light sensors.

Braitenberg robot with Arduino: [Link]