My Old Robot
As you can now see I decided to rethink my robot butler. My previous version was unstable to say the least but it tough me a lot about computer controlled robots so I will dedicate some page space to that robot before explaining my new idea.
Above was one of the reasons why my platform was so unreliable this solder job and the breadboard below made the robot messy and overly complex.
Using phidgets seemed like a good idea and in theory it was but in practice things went terribly wrong. First off phidgets are expensive and limited. You cant program them or modify them in any way. To build a fully functioning robot butler in theory you would need 3 phidgets totaling over $300 U.S.D. Also it would require three usb ports limiting your computers capability. Using encoders with phidgets is almost impossible because you really need to do it on the board not send it to the computer. That forced me to use an arduino for my encoders witch actually where just modified light sensors. Due to serial problems when I tried to interface it with python my encoders failed to help and my robot. It continued to drift and not switch from hardwood to carpet smoothly. Lets move on from controlling to my robots endeffectors.
For my robot I use bane bots geared motors witch a week after I bought them where discontinued. By the time I found out I needed special encoders for them they where canceled and I had to go with a home made solution.
Due to the high price of a phidgets servo controller I never purchased one so the motors where my only endeffectors.
Now lets focus on the body of the robot made of cheap screwed together wood.
A wooden frame caused problems from the start. The robot tilted slightly to the right and was so large it would sometimes crash into walls before the sensors could detect them. Using wood also made the robot look unprofessional plus it was hard to carry.
All these mistakes have helped me learn how to create a better robot. Thanks to this community I now have a good Idea on how to create my robot butler 2.0! Also I would like to say thanks too Adrenalynn and Inxfergy from trossen robotics they helped me out hundreds of times because I was new to programing and being 15 years old going way to fast for my own good.
Also I will keep my youtube video posted because some people seem to think the first one is funny.
The New Plan
Use one controller that has its own memory and ability to control all my endeffectors with out input form the PC. I'm thinking this one.
You can find it here "http://www.robotshop.us/dfrobot-atme...ontroller.html"
I found these motor controllers online that can implement closed loop control for me.
Its found here "http://www.robotshop.us/devantech-md...or-driver.html"
Finally the part of the robot that I am most excited to get. The base will look much more professional and be much easier to attach sensors to. Hopefully it will easily interface with my motor controller and arduino for simple encoder reading and speed control.
It can be found here "http://www.robotshop.us/summerour-st...bot-kit-3.html"
These are just my main parts everything I will use in this project is in the attached file labeled "partslist". Any suggestions will be majorly appreciated! My program language will no doubt be python for my computer and the stock arduino program for the arduino.
Hopes and dreams for this robot are basic navigation of my room! Not that that's easy but it would be nice if it could drive strait till it hit a wall then turn because that's more than my last robot could do.
My real hopes are that this robot will pioneer mapping and serving people with robotics. This means that any suggestions form this community will help.
I'm also willing to help anyone trying to do the same thing with ideas and coding. Creating a community of people trying to do the same thing would be awesome.
Ill keep updating this post with new information and code that I'm working on when ever I get a chance I promise not to neglect this blog post like I did before.
Funny Youtube Video Of First Robot Butler:
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvqCu9xasGA"]YouTube - Oops[/ame]
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At last I am starting my build. Parts are still coming as I get the money so things will start out slow.
My the first things I order have arrived and the motor controller and base will show up tomorrow. Instead of waiting I got started on the power supply board. My arduino will need 9v, my servos 5v, and my motor controller takes 12v. This will all be powered from a "12v" battery. This battery actually produces around 14v. To solve the problem I created a power board that uses voltage regulators to control the power.
As you can see I still need to add my 12v regulator. Each regulator has an attached led that shows it is working. The red led shows that the unregulated power is working.
When I first started work on the power board I burned out 5 components by accidentally reversing the power. On the final power board I added diodes to protect against reverse voltage. Here is a picture of one of the early boards.
Finally here are some pictures of the space I will be working in as well as a picture of the 10 cell battery I will be using to power everything and my arduino I will be using until the arduino mega arrives.
My first vision program I will later integrate into my robot. Tracks a blue object in roborealm.