First Robot!

About a month ago, I decided I was ready to work on my first robot. Without much in the way of a plan, I set my mind to just having it be a fully autonomous mapping robot.

Using parts I had available and a chassis from Ebay, I wanted to focus on designing a control circuit and programming the mapping algorithm. Unfortunately, it would seem I greatly underestimated the amount of processing power needed to utilise the Kalman Filter, so I ended up downgrading it to a RC Robot instead.

I was really impressed with the chassis, though. For $15 including postage, you really can’t go wrong. Here it is before and after assembly.
DSCN1464Robot Chassis

Using a very basic differential drive, the robot has a surprising amount of power. In fact, suddenly changing direction with more than about 25% duty cycle causes the whole thing to nearly flip itself over! Quite funny to watch. As you can see in the picture, I initially intended to utilise a rotary encoder and IR interrupter to track motion, but this idea was later scrapped in favour of using a very accurate accelerometer I completely forgot I even had.

A post detailing the circuit design process will be coming soon, I’ll be aiming to reduce the size as much as possible, to get more experience with SMD soldering.

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