Autonomous Goalie

This project will definitely be liked by people who loves playing air hockey. In short term, it’s a low cost robot which detects a puck coming towards it and moves in its required direction to stop it. The great point of the project is, it’s highly responsive and doesn’t use any robotic arms to stop the puck. The heart of the project, an ATMEGA 1284 MCU, takes in echo patterns from each of the sensors, interprets them and accordingly actuates the robots motors. Moreover, it requires negligible human input and can also be powered from a battery based source. Due to multiple tasks running simultaneously, they have used a tiny real time kernel to execute task in a coordinated manner which has made the robot more responsive to the puck. In the final design, with all the sensors mounted on the robot, a threshold of about 34cm or 1 foot was observed to do the best job of detecting the puck and resulting in proper functioning of the robot. A low cost robot doing a job of the goalie in… Continue reading

Repairing pool cleaning robot with Atmega8

One day Davide found that his pool cleaning robot was dead. Damage was caused by chlorine which cut through gasket and shorted circuits. Official repairing wasn’t an option because new electronics would cost more than robot itself. So he thought that in reality cleaning robot doesn’t do much – moves around and sucks water through the filter. He can build his own control circuit based on his microcontroller of choice. He built a circuit which is actually a count down timer. Robot works in periods that can be selected with five buttons. Settings are stored in to microcontrollers internal EEPROM so once set it always works as programmed. Status LEDs indicate robot working conditions. Green shows that robot is working, while RED indicates over/under current detection. Robot moving motor is BLDC, so he used hobby ESC Mistery FM30A to drive motor with PWM generated from Atmega. That’s it solved and robot continues its work. Continue reading

A Sound Follower Robot

The name of the robot is Clap-E which is a sound follower robot and follows you as long as you are clapping. It was designed by students of Cornell University as their final year project. It’s insensitive to normal human voice and other noises in the environment, however if you are able to produce a noise as sharp as clapping, then it will follow you.  The bot is able to detect the direction of source of clap by applying ‘time of arrival’ principal.  The time of arrival between two waves is calculated and using basic trigonometry the position is identified The hardware comprises of two circuits mainly sensory circuitry and a servo driver circuit.  The sensor circuits comprised of microphone as the main sensor device. A total of three microphone were placed at vertices of an equilateral triangle. The bot is very sensitive to clap sounds, since sound is detected using interrupts. However, if the clap is more than 2 meters away from the robot, the latter cannot respond to the sound due to the quality of sensors with low… Continue reading

Raspberry Pi robot with Wiimote control

Raspberry has a lots of guts when speaking of processing power and available resources, but suck at controlling things. The fact is that if you need to connect external device to it – you need an extension board. Depending on your goal the choice of if vary. Brian decided to give a try in building a Raspberry Pi robot. So first thing he thought was a Digilent Cerebot II board which is powered by Atmega64L. It talks to Raspberry Pi using SPI interface. In RaspPi interface is handled by Python script. Robot has couple DC motors that needs to be PWM controlled. They are connected to Cerebot II using couple H-bridge daughter boards. And last thing is Wii remote control. For this Raspberry Pi is equipped with Bluetooth USB module that talks to Wiimote. So far everything loos promising, but there is still lots of to do including batteries, wireless console for control, Wii support for camera and laser, servo control for camera and front wheels. Continue reading

A Tree Climber Using an Arduino

There are several implementations of tree climbing robots out there (still climbing trees?) Technochiken – a new Arduino fan wants to test his newly acquired skills in programming microcontrollers……..(the dots represent the time he spent searching on the net) He finally decide to build a tree climbing robot using the Arduino as the the main controller that would facilitate the climbing motion of the robot. He starter the build process with a sketch of the mechanical parts – its better to have a plan to avoid wasting materials. The robot is mainly composed of aluminum – the frame, the claws (the legs) and it has a central shaft that it used to create the climbing displacement. The claws and the central shaft is powered by DC motors which in turn are driven through an L298 H-Bridge Motor Driver. One unique thing about this climber is the fact that it senses the gripping of the tree by determining the speed of the motors – the motor’s speed goes down when the gripping action touches the tree – talk about neatly designed… Continue reading