Author Topic: Arduino Board for Balancing Robot  (Read 467 times)

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Offline anu_2k6Topic starter

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Arduino Board for Balancing Robot
« on: October 16, 2013, 01:09:20 PM »
I'm planning to build a self-balancing robot with possibly addition of bluetooth (if time allows). I'm not sure which Arduino I should choose or which is the best one to work with? There seems various boards (Uno, Due, Mega, Pro etc)! Any suggestions?

Offline jwatte

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Re: Arduino Board for Balancing Robot
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2013, 01:49:10 PM »
For a self-balancing robot (two wheels?) with possibly a Bluetooth addition, the easiest/best option is probably the Uno, or perhaps the Leonardo (which is like an Uno with better USB support.)
The Due adds more processing power, which you will not need, and it comes with the significant limitation that it only works with 3.3V I/O, not 5V. Also, it's more expensive.
The Mega adds more peripherals (pins for connecting things) but the Uno/Leonardo already have enough pins for driving the sensors and actuators you need.

I'd recommend the Leonardo, plus a motor shield, plus a gyro/IMU that talks I2C, plus perhaps a Bluetooth shield, and that would get you all the way there.

Offline anu_2k6Topic starter

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Re: Arduino Board for Balancing Robot
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2013, 05:23:07 AM »
Thankyou! That was very helpful. :) What do you think about Arduino Nano? Is that any good? From what you've said, I think I might go for Leonardo. Also yes its a two-wheel. :)
« Last Edit: October 18, 2013, 05:25:13 AM by anu_2k6 »

Offline johnwarfin

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Re: Arduino Board for Balancing Robot
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2013, 08:49:31 AM »
depending on what you mean by "best" the promini is by far lowest cost and smallest ardunio with capabilites similar to boards like uno which cost 10x more. all thats needed is a single cheap cable for power and download.

$3 and change shipped:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Arduino-PRO-MINI-ATMEGA328-5V-16M-MWC-avr328P-Development-Board-/111161265052?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item19e1ba4b9c#ht_3447wt_989
« Last Edit: October 18, 2013, 08:52:25 AM by johnwarfin »

Offline jwatte

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Re: Arduino Board for Balancing Robot
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2013, 10:07:51 AM »
I think a Nano is a fine alternative to a Leonardo. Most of the "arduino nanos" you can find on eBay or Amazon are not actually Arduino brand, though; they are clones.

I think the Chinese clones on eBay are useful for those who already know what they are doing, and also can buy more than one at a time to have a spare if something breaks. Waiting two months and paying $15 shipping for a round-trip exchange is not conducive to having fun.

Finally, there's a question as to whether you want to support the Arduino designers that worked hard to create the amazing support infrastructure for beginners that exists. If they hadn't worked years for this, the Chinese knock-offs would be worth nothing. If you think that building this kind of community is worth something, buying an actual Arduino or two would help reward those who did.

I get boards in three ways: I have a few Arduino brand boards, I have a few Chinese clones, and I have a number of boards I build myself using the raw chips. Then again, I don't realy use the Arduino IDE; I prefer to use avrdude directly and build my own library with avr-gcc.

Offline anu_2k6Topic starter

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Re: Arduino Board for Balancing Robot
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2013, 09:03:34 AM »
Thanks a lot peeps, made my choices easier!

I have a few more questions if anyone can help out (might sound stupid but I have to ask)

Do I need a H-bridge to build the robot? I'm going to be having PID control and kalman filter to get the robot balancing. I've read some blogs where the hardware list included H-bridges and some that hasnt mentioned it. Is it something I need to get? Or is the H-bridge just to improve on the performance?

As for the IMU sensors (Acc and Gyro), does it matter whether I buy 5DOF or 6 DOF? I dont know if it makes a difference?

Also, I'm planning on buying Polulu Motor drivers. Do I buy motor driver which include the encoders aswell or do I get them separately (Or do I need encoders?) ? Which is better?

Sorry, if thats like the stupid questions one has come across (new to building robots).  :-\

Thanks,
« Last Edit: October 19, 2013, 09:07:17 AM by anu_2k6 »

Offline waltr

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Re: Arduino Board for Balancing Robot
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2013, 10:18:17 AM »
An H-bridge is required for each motor. This is what applies power to the motors and has control inputs from the processor for direction and speed (PWM).
Encoders are required if you need to measure the motors speed or position. I do encoders separately but you need to determine what you need and how the encoder features on these boards work.
Note: There are motor driver boards and motor controller boards.
The driver bds just take the processor inputs, direction and PWM and applies power to the motors.
Controller bds do more, they take processor inputs like speed they with encoders adjust the PWM to the motors to maintain that speed. Each controller is different so study the document to determine what you need.

My guess is that you want motor driver bd and separate position/speed motor/wheel encoders. Then have the processor (arduino) do all the sensing and control. This give you the greatest control.

 


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