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  1. Question true beginner

    hi all . ok so this would be my first robotics/electronics project ive ever done ( minus the door bell made in 4 grade years ago) .im interested in building a small rover - two wheels with motor and a sensor that senses when an object gets close to the rover ( close as in 2 feet away) i want the rover to move about 2 feet away when it senses the object .it doesnt have to know where to go just to move away for a few seconds and then stop. so where do i begin? i know you good people over here would be of much help to me and guide me to the right path.btw i got about 400$ allocated for this.
    thanx ! noam

  2. #2

    Arrow Re: true beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by noamg View Post
    hi all . ok so this would be my first robotics/electronics project ive ever done ( minus the door bell made in 4 grade years ago) .im interested in building a small rover - two wheels with motor and a sensor that senses when an object gets close to the rover ( close as in 2 feet away) i want the rover to move about 2 feet away when it senses the object .it doesnt have to know where to go just to move away for a few seconds and then stop. so where do i begin? i know you good people over here would be of much help to me and guide me to the right path.btw i got about 400$ allocated for this.
    thanx ! noam
    Have you explored what kits are sold here? You might consider the Stinger, depending on how you plan to control the robot. The Stinger offers a lot of possibility, and is a two wheeled rover like you want. The Stinger is available with or without the Serializer WL controller. This seems to be well within your budget with a lot left over for sensors and other additions.

    8-Dale
    I can handle complexity. It's the simple things that confound me.
    Do everything in moderation, ESPECIALLY, moderation..
    Sometimes the only way to win, is not to play.. -- Stephen Falken

  3. #3
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    Re: true beginner

    Do you have any experience with writing code, etc?

    I'd suggest first taking a look at my So You Want to Build A Robot tutorial.

    For your desired application, a very simple base I would suggest:

    • Solarbotics Motors & Wheels : total cost is about $20 for a nice little drivetrain
    • Grab yourself a caster.
    • Foamboard makes a great robot base for lightweight getting started bots. You can screw the caster to it, and mount the motors with double sided tape.

    I pretty much always suggest going the Arduino route for small robots. It's fairly easy to pick up, and easy to learn to program -- it's a great way to pick up a new skill. Since the motors linked above will require a motor driver, I'd suggest the MINI Robocontroller, which is an Arduino compatible board that has onboard motor drivers (you can also add a wireless debugging link, which is very handy). I should point out here, I'm a bit biased, as I'm the guy who designed the MINI, but this sort of application is exactly what I envisioned when I designed it. Don't forget, you'll need either an ISP or FTDI cable to program that MINI (the FTDI cable has the added advantage of being usable for debugging, and being slightly easier to setup).

    Also, take a read through my Choosing Sensors for Your Robot tutorial. The Sharp IR rangers can't be beat for getting started. You can use my RoboControllerLib to get a reading from this sensor really easily. Don't forget the Cable for a very easy hookup. Down the road, an SRF-05 or PING sonar sensor will give you a wider field of view (see the tutorial above for what I mean).

    Lastly, you'll need a battery. The MINI has an onboard regulator, any 7.2V battery will work (a local hobby store might have this, or many places online, something in the 1000-2000mAh hour rating would be good).

    I'd also suggest picking up a copy of Getting Started with Arduino if you've never done much electronics or programming, it gives a good introduction to both and will let you jump right in.

    -Fergs

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