June 2nd, 2009

Mini-sumo Robot

Mini-sumo Robot

If you’re into robotics then you must know about the sumo competitions between autonomous robots. Seeker II is one of the competitors who proved his good design in battle. In this project you will have all the information you need to build yourself a mini-sumo robot.

The Seeker II is using a PIC16F876 providing four analog to digital converters for sensors, timing functions, a PWM output to control the motors and also allows for future calibration, testing and debugging. The robot is equipped with two range finding sensor from Sharp, GP2D12, placed right at the front and connected to analog inputs A0 and A1 of the PIC. Other two Fairchild QRD1114 sensor are placed at the bottom and used as edge finders and are connected to analog inputs A2 and A3.

The robot comes with two wide wheels which offers a good amount of traction, each wheel having its own motor. The motors, Faulhaber 1717, are driven by a SN754410 h-bridge IC controlled by the PIC. If the EN input is set high than Y output of the h-bridge will be same as the A input, if EN is set low then the Y output is turned off on the SN754410. The PIC controls the speed of the motors with PWM.

Ports C7 and C6 are used for serial communication, to watch, test and debug software, as well as to read log files from EEPROM.

In the link you will find block diagram, schematics and code for microcontroller.

Mini-sumo Robot: [Link]

April 21st, 2009

Fire Fighter Dragon

Fire Fighter Dragon

“Bilbo, look out for the Dragon!” cried Frodo. “Dragon? Nonsense! There hasn’t been a Dragon around here for a thousand years!” said Bilbo… but little did he know what some people are building in their dungeons. Presenting “Puff” the fire fighter Dragon. I bet Smokey the Bear will lose his job soon, as forest fire prevention mascot.

The Dragon, once it finds a fire, has it’s eyes fixed on it, closes in and puts the fire away with his breath. He he I know what your thinking but it’s napalm glands are only active in angry mode. If he fails to put down the fire after two sweeps, he backs away to save his skin.

This project is based on an Arduino processor and MotorShield. Two gear motors with 224:1 ratios and PolyMorph axle extensions are used for movement. Puff moves his head to left and right with the help of a servo and does that in a 60-120 degree range. His “eyes” are two light sensing resistors, each one placed at the end of a heat shrinking tube so that localization of the fire is more precise. Also you must isolate the back of the resistors as well, for the same reason.

Once his eyes are fixed on the fire his breath comes from a little fan and it’s motor. A Sharp IR sensor provides cliff and obstacle detection. You will have to angle it so that it’s focus point falls at 10cm away on the floor. The Dragon’s head is made of paper that you can print with your desired model.

So get your scissors and build a Dragon!
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Fire Fighter Dragon: [Link][Via]

November 8th, 2008

Balancing robot

Balancing robot

This is a very interesting DIY project, a little Segway, off course it won’t carry you but it will self balance. The brain of the robot is the Arduino board, the entire robot is powered from a battery,  although the author tried to keep the cost to minimum the final “price” was above 300$.

The sensor for the balancing algorithm was a 2 way accelerometer and one encoder in each motor, all the electronics was bought as a kit, since the author as he stated, a programmer. This can be encouraging for those who want to replicate the robot, since you don’t need to be a hardware guru to build it.

The control algorithm needs a lot of adjusting, trial and error tests and patience.

The balancing robot has one major inconvenient, how to get it up? It is a lot of fun doing it and certainly it is a noticible achievement, but in lack of control it will just stay in one place. I recommend this project to students who want to experiment with different control algorithms like PID, Fuzzy.

Balancing robot: [Link]

July 20th, 2008

Light Detector Application

Light Detector Application

This application explains how to make a light detector for ARobot. This can be used to tell when a light is on or off, whether the robot is inside or outside, or for light following. This is a simple expansion and does not require soldering if using a breadboard.

It does assume that you have attached a breadboard and an expansion cable to the ARobot . This circuit and the light sensor could be mounted and soldered to a perf board and located to a movable head. Multiple light detector sensors could be used to detect the direction of light.

Light Detector Application: [Link]

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

This robot spider is controlled by a powerful Parallax microcontroller that fits the job perfectly. You can also use it under other projects , being a powerfull microcontroller it fits many jobs. The robot is fitted with the following sensors:

1x ultrasonic sensor (Deva-tech SRF04)
2x sensor with micro-switches Actuators:
3x Standard Model servos for the musculoskeletal
1x Micro servo to the pan of ultrasonic sensor “

Thats pretty impressive, and the robot looks really cool.

Robot Spider Powered by a Parallax Microcontroller: [Link][via]

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