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Robot Ramble: New Project for the New Guy

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robotramble_uhs:
Robot Ramble

Hello all.
I am new at robot building and I am looking for some help in designing a robot. This is going to be a long thread.

I have some ideas and Iím thinking about 6 different operations besides movement. Iím working off battery(ies) that total 9.6 volts (added up all together). My goal is to create a robot that can move, pick up corks, ping-pong balls, pennies, a CD, etc.

By reading, I understand that I am going to need:
- a microcontroller (or microprocessor)
- servo utilities that control my motors (I need to learn how to control how much the motor turns, meaning that a flap has to open or close)
- motor drivers
- H-bridge

My first question is: is this all I need, or do I need more?
And my second: What parts would you recommend? (lower prices are better :) )

JonHylands:
Corks and ping-pong balls will be relatively straightforward. Pennies and CDs will not be.

You might want to narrow your scope a little to start with - building a robot that moves under control is a pretty big challenge for most beginners.

After you have that, then look at the simple cases - things that are easy to pick up. You need to decide a couple of things - how do you sense the object that is there to be picked up? What are you going to do with it once you've picked it up? Is your robot going to be autonomous or remote controlled?

Look at this page for some ideas, or maybe you'd rather just buy a kit and assemble it:

http://www.lynxmotion.com/Category.aspx?CategoryID=57

You could also look at this, to mount on a robot base:

http://www.lynxmotion.com/Category.aspx?CategoryID=2

Or you could just build the whole thing from scratch.

If you're going to do that, build the base first, and then add an arm with a gripper once that is done and working. Make sure that whatever micro-controller/h-bridge combo you choose can also handle a few servos.

One option for that is to use a serial motor controller for the base, and a serial servo controller for the arm. Then you can use something really simple, like a BASIC Stamp for the micro-controller, and there's a ton of example code out there.

Admin posted a really cool video a while back of a cool remote controlled robot he built that picks up stuff and goes over walls.

http://www.societyofrobots.com/robot_asme.shtml

In order to build a successful robot, you have to have a very clear picture of what you want it to accomplish.

- Jon

Admin:
when making a robot, put simplicity above everything else. every part you add is an extra layer of complexity/work, and a possible failure point too. design the bot 100% before buying anything  ;D


--- Quote ---pick up corks, ping-pong balls, pennies, a CD
--- End quote ---

considered using a vacuum/suction like device?


--- Quote ---- motor drivers
- H-bridge

--- End quote ---

look for a dual motor driver

servo stuff:
http://www.societyofrobots.com/actuators_servos.shtml

check the robot parts list for what you want, i only posted the good companies to buy stuff at.

robotramble_uhs:
Thanks guys. I will do more research and design my robot. :)

Oh, and to answer Mr. Hyland's questions: I will be controlling it. The robot will need no sensory equipment, since I will be looking at the robot and telling it to preform actions through a controller. When I am done picking up the objects, I want to dump it into a box, 30 cm by 30 cm.

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