Loving Little Braitenberg Vehicle

The Braitenberg vehicles, an idea developed by cyberneticist Valentino Braitenberg, are autonomous vehicles that move around using wheels and light sensors connected to them. Motion is acquired using only the interaction between the vehicle and its environment, without information processing or internal memory of any kind. Still, the Braitenberg vehicles appear to have intelligent behavior because they react to their surroundings, changing speed or direction accordingly. For that, they are regarded as the simplest form of behavior based artificial intelligence.

These vehicles can exhibit various types of behavior, similar to “aggression” or even “love”. Yes, that’s right, this is a tiny car that loves light. It follows the light source, turning after it and stopping when the light is powerful enough. The motors run at full speed if it’s dark and when light is detected by one of the sensors, the motor on that side is slowed down, so the vehicle changes its direction towards the light. When the light is bright enough, both motors are stopped and the vehicle remains still. If the light source is moved, the vehicle will start moving towards it as soon as the sensors detect the change of light intensity.

As most of these vehicles, this light-loving car is rather simple in design and hardware, using an Arduino Mini Pro on a 170 tie points Mini Breadboard, both from Sparkfun. For locomotion, the vehicle uses 2 HXT500 mini servos working at 3.7V from Hobbycity and 2 GM10 wheels from Solarbotics. Seeing is provided by 2 Light Dependant Resistors. Finally, the vehicle is powered by a 3.7V LiPo cell with 800 mAh from Sparkfun, which is enough for the Arduino Mini Pro working at 3.3V.

This has got to be one of the cutest cars I’ve seen, you can check out the demonstration video in the link.

Loving Little Braitenberg Vehicle: [Link]

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]

Control A Servo Using A Joystick

The first step on the project is joystick control of a servo over a USB connection. The end result which will make the project complete would be a RC rover monitored and controlled with a laptop and joystick on a WiFi network. The first step is already finished and the author managed to control a servo with the joystick.

Control A Servo Using A Joystick: [Link][via]

Webcam With Servo And Web Interface

The purpose of this project is to show, how you can build a surveillance system with web-page interface. The webcam can be moved vertical or horizontal through the interface, but only in the area that border sensors will allow. The control page is secured with login system, where the user types in an user-name and a password.

On the control page the user can control how the webcam will turn and how many steps it will run. The user can also turn the webcam on and off via web interface. Information about the states will immediately update on the screen. User can also turn the motion detector online, if the camera detects motion, it will automatically save the frames. Naming of the pictures is done with “timestamps”, so it is possible to find out when the picture was taken.

The part that interests me on this project is the servo, because a few years ago i was thinking to something like this, but i never build it. Now it’s nice to see, someone actually build it.
Webcam With Servo And Web Interface: [Link][via]

March 6th, 2008

USB controlled robot servo

 USB controlled robot servo picture

The project was design to allow you to controll standard hobby radio control servos via a PCs USB port. This circuit can controll up to 6 servos powered with 5 v and can hold a load of maximum 3 Amps, so you should be careful your servo’s dont exceed the maximum load. The AVR microncontroller is powered directly from the USB port, but it takes an external power supply between 7 and 30 volts to power the servos.

USB controlled robot servo: [Link]

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