I'm about to start my first robot project so i thought i would document my progress, I don't imagine anyone else will be interested so i'm mainly doing this so i have a record.
For a project at Uni I have made a Wireless controller and a motor driver PCBs. They both include a built in arduino and communicate via XBees. I get to keep the PCBs from the project and have bought the ATmega328 chips, XBees and a chassis as these are the parts we had to return.
I plan to use this as a base for my robot and add more features as and when i can.
Analogue Joystick - variable speed control
IR Sensor - Simple Collision Detection
Connection Indicator - LED to show when XBees are communicating
Features to Add
Intuitive Control for the arm - Ideally using a Wiimote or Nunchuck,
Autonomous mode - add more sensors, collision detection
There are many other things i would like to experiment with, i’m sure there will always be something else i could add to my robot!
Bluetooth? - would like to experiment with it, mainly to understand how it works, can use to upload new code
GPS, more complex sensor/vision, interfacing arduino and labview, Swedish wheels
There are lots of things i would like to learn about, so i guess i’ll just add stuff as and when i can!
The arm i will be using is an OWI Robotic arm. It is cheap, meaning it doesn’t have servo motors, but I plan to add feedback using trimpots on each joint. I have the version with a USB interface however I plan to make my own controller using H-bridge chips and then controlling that with an arduino.
I have chosen to use the Rover 5 robot platform as it had 4 motors and 4 encoders so it is good value for money and also i can upgrade it to have wheels if i require. Im very interested in using swedish wheels if i can!
When my order arrives i will start working out how to connect the arm to the arduino and write a code to demonstrate it moving. Then i will look into what to use to control it.
I plan to work out how to control the arm separately to the rest of the buggy then combine it. Having a complete PCB may make it hard to add to, i have an arduino mega so i may be able to remove the chip from the PCB and connect jumper wires to the same pins on the arduino board. Or i could use two separate IC’s and just connect the XBee to both, this seems a bit inefficient though!
So for now i’m waiting for my order, then i imagine i won’t have much time for this as uni exams take over but now its down in writing hopefully i will continue with this project asap!
Also i need a name! suggestions welcome!