Area Coverage

This robot was one I built to compete in an Area Coverage contest in the Nashua Robot Builders club. I built in in sort of short order, and you can see that it is quite simple.

The idea for the tricycle design came when I saw a similar design on a robot on the web. It simplifies the drive (front wheel driven) and the steering via the same wheel. The only tricky part of it is to make it all come together mechanically.

In order to do that, I used a “Lazy Susan” ball bearing that I bought at a home store. (Home Depot maybe?)

Anyways, my plans were drawn up on a napkin, but I didn’t save them in order to scan them in.

But I  did do a decent job of keeping the code I wrote for it. In fact, I wrote up two versions of the code. The first was in STAMP1 language, and the second was in SIL, a sort of Basic/Pascal/Modula-1 syntaxed language.

You can see from the top of the robot that the control system is very simple.

The STAMP1 software runs in a PIC16C58, and the SIL code runs in a PIC16C71.

The board is one of those microEngineering Labs PIC-18 proto boards that has an on board regulator, so the battery can just hook up to it. I made it a larger (TO-220) sized device so that it could also be useded to supply power to the servos.

Looking at it from the other side, you can see the front drive wheel and how it turns. It will turn 90 degrees from straight, and allow the robot to pretty much turn in its own body dimentions.

The front “light bar” is used to detect the edge of the table. It has three detectors, and LEDS to light the table under those detectors. (so that the ambient room lighting isn’t such a big problem)

This all works pretty well.

This is another picture from the front. Another shot of the Servo mounted “through” the Lazy Suzan in order to make the steering.

Also, you cans see the lower servo mounted to the wheel that provides the drive.

Here are a couple more pieces of documentation for this project. You might find some of this useful.

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