Over the last few weeks I have been working on a fairly big project and needed to create a robotic rover of sorts to demonstrate how a new piece of hardware works. While I can not show you the hardware just yet, I can show you the Arduino-powered robot that I built to showcase the new top secret development board I have on my workbench.
The robot consist of a few off-the-shelf parts including the chassis, control electronics, and hardware. I also custom designed a couple of parts for the project and printed them with my 3D printer. I chose Arduino-based electronics because they are readily available and quite easy to code for and implement.
The robot is semi-intelligent in the sense that it is able to sense objects located in front of it, and can change direction to avoid hitting them. It can not however at this point, plot a route around objects other than what is directly in front of it. This means that while it can avoid objects, the direction it takes to avoid that object is not very predictable at the moment.
Andy senses obstacles in its path by emitting an ultrasonic pulse from an ultrasonic "ping} sensor that you see mounted on top of the servo. The servo allows the robot to scan up to 90 degrees from center to find a clear path to take. You can also see the custom servo mount I designed and printed for the 4-pin HC-SR04-based ultrasonic sensor. I am still refining the design, but you can down load a working model from Thingiverse.
Over the month, I am going to write a three part series on how to build, code, and modify this robot. If there is any thing else you would like me to cover about cheap DIY robotics, please leave me a comment and I will do my best to cover them in future articles.
Andy the Autonomous Object Avoiding Robot is built from the following hardware.
- Magicians Chassis from Dagu
- Arduino Uno R3
- Arduino Motor Shield R3
- Sainsmart HC-SR04 Ultrasonic Range Sensor
- GWS S03N STD Hobby Servo