View Full Version : [Project] Protos Rover

04-22-2009, 11:56 PM
Today I started ordering parts for my new rover project...

Here is a parts break down and I will go into more detail once I get some more time

Lynxmotion Base Rotate Kit with HS-422 servo BR-KT
Lynxmotion Gear Head Motor - 12vdc 50:1 152rpm (6mm shaft) GHM-13
Lynxmotion Tri-Track Chassis
Phidgets HV Motor Controller
Phidgets Advanced Servo Controller
Pan and Tilt Kit

Intel D945GCLF miniitx motherboard 1GB DDR2 667 2GB Bootable USB Flash Drive
Logitech Quickcam Pro for vision (built in pan and tilt, roborealm supported)
PCI Wifi for Brain. (In the Future I may use att wireless broadband usb "card")

90w PicoPSU for PC Brain
3x12v 2300mAh Batteries (1/motor and 1 for MiniITX Brain)
1x7.2v 4500mAh Battery (servos)
Tamiya Battery connectors (for making quick connects)
Battery Charger and charger cable splitter

I plan on running a windows based system intially though I do enjoy tinkering with linux so I may go that route it all depends on how easy XP is to install on the USB Flash drive. I have done it sucessfully with linux several times so its just a matter of crossing my fingers with XP... More to come once I make my final parts orders this week and early next week :D

I will give you all a complete parts breakdown above later (most everything up there needs to be ordered)

I know theres not alot to comment on at this point but aim and shoot!

04-23-2009, 09:19 AM
Tri-track base AND motors? Are you planning to swap out the motors on the Tri-track? If so, you might check with Jim @Lynxmotion and see if he will swap them out in the kit, rather than buy an extra set of motors (I've seen him tell people in his forums that he will do such)

A 2GB flash drive? Is that gonna be big enough for Windows?

And finally, just a note, but the D945GCLF isn't really designed for mobility, it's mainly buit to be cheap. All the specs I've seen on power consumption are ~30-35W (the atom is low power, but that 945 chipset is a power hog). Something like a pico-itx (while more expensive) is gonna draw about half the power, and have similar processing power (possibly more? The benchmarks aren't great for the atom)


04-23-2009, 09:56 AM
As for the motors, I intend to fully redo the chassis at some point and change the tri-track configuration upgrading to a more traditional tank style track setup and I'll use the original motors as supplemental power... I was seriously looking at the pico systems and thought I could save a few $$$ there... Thats not a big deal I'll do some bargain hunting in the pico dept today.

As far as the 2GB being enough... I plan on using bartsPE Builder/Nlite to get its size down
I have 4GB and 8GB drives around not to mention they are less than $20 so thats not a problem.

Ahhhh plans are starting to fall apart!!!! Pico is going to cause issues I don't have a slot for wifi! Ok back to the drawing board for the brain :(

04-23-2009, 10:23 AM
Not sure about this...but do you have a drawing of how all of this is supposed to go together? Drawings always seam to help me.

Also, As for brains...check out the wibrain... (http://www.wibrain.com/)I'm all for all in one UMPCs...and they aren't that much more expensive that fully set up Pico ITX systems...or much heavier.

Finally...if you are planning to build your own track system, then why not start there. I think it was Sierra who just did a really cool tank style track system (http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/showthread.php?t=2622). I guess its hard for me to justify spending money on parts you don't plan to use.

OK...enough for now

04-23-2009, 10:53 AM
4mem also had a beautiful traditional tank style base he did with the LM tracks. Gorgeous.

You really don't want to be hanging four motors on a tracked platform unless you're pretty darned sure you can _exactly_ match the rpm in all given situations on each side. Otherwise they're just fighting each other, robbing power and tearing things up. That's why you tend to see 4WD on wheels not tracks.

04-23-2009, 11:37 AM
Darkback... The tracks will end up in a setup similar to Sierra's as thats very similar to what I'm looking for, I do intend to use those motors like I said in that future version thats a good 6 months or more down the road.

My initial goals for the project are just to get a remotely operated vehicle functional. then I'll see where my wallet lets me go.

Edit after reading Lynn's post... I may have to consider 2motors only then....

Ok what do you all think of the Roboard for the brain? I think that might be the best way to go.
And does anyone here know what the ETA for having them back in stock?

05-26-2009, 07:50 PM
Ok so I finally got all the parts n pieces together and it LIVES!!!!!


Its basically as stated above with a few changes. This is the Prototype, I am shopping around for a machine shop to redo the chassis with some precision since I can't cut straight.

The system has a Phidgets HV Motor Controller and Phidgets AdvServo Controller (hooked to the pan and tilt not currently used)

It has 2 12V Batteries for the motors, They are inside the treads to help weight placed as far forward as I could get them.

There is a 12V Battery for the PicoITX and a 7.2 for the servos.

All controlled via wifi!

05-26-2009, 09:14 PM
Is it just the photos? Those tracks look awfully tight. I went down that road, and with LM's assistance, I learned that you should be able to pull enough slack on the tracks to literally slide your hand in there.

05-26-2009, 09:45 PM
Take a look at the track on the Far side you can get up to your knuckles in there... I don't have a video camera so I don't have any video sorry

05-29-2009, 06:38 AM
Great job on the track system, Yes Jim at LM has been very helpful on the 3" custom track system I am building for my HK. Keep the pics coming, can't wait to see the final product.
Would like to see your battery placement and gear layout in the tracks.

05-29-2009, 09:00 AM
I'll take some pics with the track disassembled this weekend, I just have to steal my camera back from mom n dad :D which shouldn't be a problem, Sometimes its nice when Mom lives less than a mile away hahaha... I am waiting to hear back from a couple of local machine shops still, I may just have to take the chassis down to the shops since I and the worst person for CAD work, I've just never been able to wrap my head around it.

And Thanks for the Thread merge mod! I didn't even think about that!

05-29-2009, 09:59 AM
If you do take it to a machine shop, make sure they have a water jet cutter. My machine shop has one by Flow (manufactures name) and it can cut anything from beer can thick metal to 2" Titanium with exact precision. It would help if you could get someone to draw up you design on CAD, because this would reduce your cost greatly with the shop. Most machine shop nail you on CAD work, then they do cutting the material. Also I checked on Roboard and they are in stock and I am thinking of using it for my HK.

Best regards

06-25-2009, 11:20 PM
Project Update!

Instead of going with aluminum I decided to go with Acrylic. I somehow found Pololu after missing it before when looking over chassis ideas... Anyways, I mocked up my chassis and got a price quote back today (BTW I just sent it in for the quote this morning, outstanding turn around time!) the whole thing is only going to run me about $75 + shipping! thats incredible! After the outrageous prices BBS wanted for plexi I thought I was SOL there but its looking like this just might workout!

Sooooo I should have my chassis ordered tomorrow and hopefully delivered by Friday next week or Monday the next! So when I get the new chassis in I'll take those pics of the battery placement for you Tym. and post all new photos of it.

Sine I was paying for another sheet of acrylic anyways I decided to widen the interior section about 1.5-2" I am a little worried about the structural integrity of it being that wide but I'm fairly sure with a center line brace for stiffness will suffice atleast lets hope so!

And Another update!!! I ordered some gear from sparkfun! An Arduino "2009" usb board, Digi EZ1 Sonar and a red laser. They should be arriving today along with the proto board and other misc stuff for the arduino (this is my first foray into micro-controllers and embedded electronics).

The laser was an impulse addon since I do intend to mount rockets (ala DB!) and an airsoft(P.S. Where can I buy these buggers locally! I haven't been to wally world around my area because I loath going there... )

Now I plan on replacing the Phidgets Servo controller with the arduino for the time being (I'm on the upgrade path to an Axon very soon, btw is it Arduino compatible on a software level?) using it for pan and tilt control and to interface with the Sonar.

I may soon begin looking at replacing the phidgets motor controller as well (if you have suggestions on interfacing 12v motors with the Axon I'd love to hear them).

So at this point once I get the chassis ordered and in I'll start to toy with a turret design, using the Lynxmotion "base rotate" as the base I'll build a turret around it, a dual servo bracket and (2) 645mgs, at least I think that would be enough to support tilt for 2 airsoft cannons, (2) 4 micro-rocket pod and 2 lasers. Thats pretty much it physically. I want to add a boat load of sensors several ir range finders a couple more sonar and I'm considering a GPS(this is more of a jee whiz toy since accuracey isn't better that 5 meters). Also as I said above I will eventually replace the arduino with an Axon to help all these extra sensors.

07-03-2009, 10:23 PM
Ok here she is so far!

http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/3/0/3/4/1_thumb.jpg (http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=1496&c=3)
http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/3/0/3/4/14_thumb.jpg (http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=1504&c=3)
http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/3/0/3/4/13_thumb.jpg (http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=1503&c=3)
http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/3/0/3/4/12_thumb.jpg (http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=1502&c=3)
http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/3/0/3/4/10_thumb.jpg (http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=1501&c=3)
http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/3/0/3/4/4_thumb.jpg (http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=1497&c=3)

I also started a blog @ http://protosrobotics.blogspot.com

These 3 are the battery compartment I had in the first prototype but due to an error in hole placement this version will not have them in the treads.
http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/3/0/3/4/7_thumb.jpg (http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=1500&c=3)
http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/3/0/3/4/6_thumb.jpg (http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=1499&c=3)
http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/3/0/3/4/5_thumb.jpg (http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=1498&c=3)