Robot, take out the trash!
[ Requirements | Design 1 | Design 2 | Chassis ]
I hate wheeling the trash to the curb on trash day and sometimes I forget. Screw that noise, man. A robot wouldn't mind, wouldn't forget and wouldn't care if it's freezing outside. I'm building Take Out The Trash Robot. TOTT Bot, for short. So there.
|A few of the many Actobotics parts I'm evaluating|
What the Isaac Asimov is Actobotics, you ask? Lots of cool parts. Precise parts. With drill holes in compatible locations. So, it's easier to prototype. Between the ball bearings, precision shafts and tubing, lightweight aluminum channel, gears, sprockets, chains, belts, and pulleys, not to mention ServoCity motors and giant servos I'm seriously giggling with glee here.
As it turns turns out, I've been wanting to build a trash robot for a few years now. After wondering "what am I going to do with all these parts?" for awhile, I decided the trash robot is the perfect project to see what the Actobotics platform can do for us robot-builders. It's going to take several weeks to build and I'm capturing it all here. Hope you'll tune in while I prototype, build, figure, calculate, screw up, fix, and all that joy. On to the problem statement...
|Problem: This. To curb.|
|Almost 50 lbs. Pretty typical.|
Size? About 0.41m wide by 0.93m tall (look at me, ma, I'm using SI units). The handle is floppy and is hinged at a height of 0.84m. The cans have 0.15m diameter wheels with a track width of only 0.36m.
Tippy much? Uh yeah. Their center of gravity is always high but varies. If I had a nickle for every time these stupid things fell over, spewing trash all over, while I'm dragging them to the curb in my jammies... Well, that's some fun stuff right there.
|Floppy handle hinges at a height of 33"|
|Angle finder shows about 6 degrees, steeper elsewhere|
|My humble abode. Note trash cans and missing Jeep.|
When the trash is picked up the trash collector lifts up the can and dumps it into the truck, then runs the cans back up to the garage where you see the cans pictured above. (It's a neat little value-add)
I should mention, too, that I only want to build one robot to carry cans one at a time, not some trash carrying swarm.
Oh man, this is going to be great! No more trash carrying! Yes! I invite you to join in, follow along, subscribe, share, all that stuff.
Next Time: Evaluating Candidate Designs