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Author Topic: Docking Station Design  (Read 2462 times)

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Offline Half ShellTopic starter

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Docking Station Design
« on: November 09, 2007, 11:38:17 PM »
I am doing a number of projects now, so this one won't be tackled for awhile. I am still planning it out though.

I have never built a robot capable of docking and recharging and I thought this would be a suitable challenge, and important since I plan on doing a lot of home robotics building.

My idea for a docking station right now is to have two separate metal bands that come out on top of the robot. When it drives to the docking station (maybe use infrared beacons to help the robot hone in) the docking station would envelope the robot. The ceiling of the docking station will have two metal plates which will complete the docking station's circuit and start charging the robot.

I really don't know how to help the robot hone in on the infrared though, or if there is a better way to build a charging circuit. I thought about having contact plates below the robot and have them drop down when in dock, but this becomes a problematic mechanical problem.

What kind of ideas do you guys have?

Offline Spoil9

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Re: Docking Station Design
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2007, 07:29:51 AM »
I have not really messed with robotics in a number of years (2001) so i am just getting back into the swing of things. But I have looked into RFID for another idea I have, maybe that something that could help you.
Put a small RDIF tag in the docking station, with a receiver on the bot, so that when it comes close to the docking station it can tell where to go.
Of course as I write this i realize that would be a bit harder than I first thought. Oh well, it's an idea.
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Offline paulstreats

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Re: Docking Station Design
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2007, 07:41:39 AM »
i think some irobot roomba's do this, have a look at the website and you might be able to see some pictures and see how they do it.

Offline Half ShellTopic starter

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Re: Docking Station Design
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2007, 03:34:18 PM »
RFID is a clever solution when the robot is close, but makes it difficult for the robot to find it when further out.

My friend was confused about this question and couldn't comprehend why just having the robot plug itself in would be so hard. A good idea but so friggin difficult to do.

Offline airman00

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Re: Docking Station Design
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2007, 09:07:08 PM »
use IR sensors like this guy did:
http://www.schursastrophotography.com/robotics/docking2.html

cool stuff there, click Home at the bottom of the page to see his homepage projects
Check out the Roboduino, Arduino-compatible board!


Link: http://curiousinventor.com/kits/roboduino

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Offline Half ShellTopic starter

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Re: Docking Station Design
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2007, 11:48:38 PM »
Heh thats the article that inspired my choosing this as the challenge. It is an excellent site and I recommend it to anyone who needs a good read on robotics - there are other articles that are very interesting.

Offline Admin

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Re: Docking Station Design
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2007, 01:28:57 PM »
Quote
I really don't know how to help the robot hone in on the infrared though
Its not as difficult as it sounds.

Its exactly the same as the photovore algorithm (but using IR sensors instead of photoresistors). The $50 robot can easily handle it with zero code change :P

The only difficult challenge is to distinguish the docking station IR from background IR. Easy to do in a dark room but not so easy near a window on a bright sunny day . . .

Offline cooldog

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Re: Docking Station Design
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2007, 01:42:07 PM »
so he could unplug the photocell and plug in a sharp IR and that should see the docking staition and come near it if the dockingt station is brighter then the background
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Offline paulstreats

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Re: Docking Station Design
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2007, 05:51:18 PM »
especially if its polarised ir light....

Offline cooldog

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Re: Docking Station Design
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2007, 06:04:51 PM »
so the the $50 robot circut sub the photocells with a sharp ir and put LED's on the chargeing station
robot will rule the world and i will be building them
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Offline Admin

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Re: Docking Station Design
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2007, 07:30:25 PM »
Quote
especially if its polarised ir light....
hmmmm good idea!

 


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