17 Dec 2004 ZenX10   » (Observer)

Hey I want to tell about the current robot that I have. I named him willy because whenever he would jerk the moters faster or slower he would pop a willy. His body is basically built around the batterypack(6V @ 4 AA) and the two gear moters mounted in parralel offset. The moters are very much like these I don't know what the tourque is on them because my teacher orderd them for me. We used two infrared sensors for following lines. The brains where basically built around a pic microcontroller. To control the moters we used an H-bridge moter controller. We did not solder any of the materials except the conections to the motor. Otherwise we used a solderless breadboard to connect all the electronics. The motors were hot-glued to the batterypack(I know hot glue is not a good construction material but Its easy and fast and I am poor) the wheels then lifted the robot up giving it about 2 inches of clearence. The problem I had now was that the heavyest part of the robot is now on top and I can't balence it. I decided to go for a tripod look. I hotglued(again) three wires to the back of the battery back and then to a marble which would then slide, and glide, to keep the robot from tipping over. Now I have the problem of getting the sensors where I needed them. SO to solution this I put one of those electrostatic foam sheets(like what a microchip is in when you order it) and attached it to the front of the robot down to about 1-1.5 cm from the ground. I then hotglued both sensors to that and voila I had a sensor mount. After I hooked up all the parts and electronics, and programed the pic, I proceeded to give my robot a try. At first is was more like random sporadic movement. Then when it hit a line a back and forth sawing motion. After some debugging I got it to follow the line on the left side and solve a white maze on a black surface. It had some pretty jagged back and forth motion between the left of the line and the black surface. This was due to the fact that my robot was not exactly stable or to the fact the my sensors where right side by side(the where glued together). My Afterthoughts after building this robot are: Next time I am going to plan everything very well before I decide to put anything together. The body construction was poor and the quality of the mounting materials were poor. Next time I am going to have a seperate body from the motors and the battery pack. I will use screws and bolts rather than hot glue, I will not use a solderless breadboard but use a through hold component board and use point to point wire soldering. While this may be a more uncompact solution It will make the robot more permanent and mor lifelike not changable and modifiable. I hope one day to create a robot that truly works all by itself and not by batterys that constently have to be changed by a human. I want to create a robot that will be able to service and repair himself. I will do this by continuing to learn about the sensors and programming aspects of robots while at the same time researching everything I can on robots. I want to make a robot that runs on solar power and microbile fuel cells. Well Everybody wish me luck!

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