First Robot Plan

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.


Current Features

Analogue Joystick - variable speed control

Wireless Communication

IR Sensor - Simple Collision Detection

Connection Indicator - LED to show when XBees are communicating





Features to Add

Robotic Arm

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! :stuck_out_tongue:

Will be interested to see

Will be interested to see how you combine the arm with the Rover 5. I haven’t seen the OWI arms in person, what kind of use to envisage for it when attatched to the robot?


Looking forward to seeing what you do.