Cygnus X-3

built by Edward Rupp

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Target Environment Locomotion Method
Indoors 2 Wheels
Sensors / Input Devices Actuators / Output Devices
IR proximity sensor dc motors
stepper motor
Control Method Power Source
Autonomous Battery
CPU Type Operating System
PIC Microcontroller None
Programming Lanuage Weight
Time to build Cost to build
URL for more information
This is a Mini-Sumo robot is named after a neutron star that sends out a very regular RF pulses as it rapidly spins. The original design feature on the robot was an IR proximity sensor platform spinning to see all around, and sounded futuristic rocket ship like which is how the robot was stylized to look like.

The construction is PVC plastic cut by CNC. Parts are aligned via tong and groove construction and glued in place. For propulsion motors I hacked motors and gear trains from computer CD tray eject mechanisms. The cool feature with these motors is they were originally meant to move a rack and pinion gear. By hacking some of the original rack gear I was able to use one of the propulsion motors to trigger a third tripod fin to topple the robot over onto its wheels at the start of a competition.

The design of the bot is based around the Mini-Sumo rules that state a sumo must be no bigger that 10 X 10 centimeters but can be as tall as you want and can change its shape after starting. So I designed the robot to stand on end and be in the rules and then fall down to start the fight. People love the eject, fall over feature, and as you might imagine it hits the ground hard!

The electronics is a custom PC board I designed and built using mechanical CNC trace cutting methods. It uses a Pic 16F628, and 2 dual L293 H-bridges. The one H-brige powers the drive motors and the other powers a little stepper motor in the original design to spin IR proximity sensors.

The original design for sensors and battery power proved impractical. The rotating sensor had problems of noise from the contact brushes used to send power and data. The tiny stepper prove inadequate. The CD eject motors are geared too fast and have very low torque. So after learning these problems the robot had a major rework. The rotating IR proximitys were replaced with traditional stationary IR proximitys. The power supply was boosted from 5 volts of AAA batteries to a custom pack made of Lithium Ion batteries for 18 volts!

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