Following on from being asked to attend some events in March, I decided to create a new robot and showcase some of what I do. This was also a way to see how hard it would be to produce an interesting robot kit. I have always liked robots that can change their configuration to either navigate through obstacles or be able to change their height and angle. So with that in mind I spent the last week designing and building the robot in the pictures.
I have been thinking about a 6 servo design for a while, so I ordered some parts I needed and put to paper my design ready to start when the parts arrived.
Initial configuration with 6 digital servos
This design used the servos almost entirely as the chassis, and also allowed for a 4 wheel steering model as well as the more traditional differential (tank) steering.
Different positions are possible with the servos
The combinations possible with this many servos are many.
And its height adjustable
Programming such a configuration was something I really wanted to create to allow the best control possible.
Using an aluminium floor strip and matt black perspex I created an upper body for the robot, mounted on a perspex base plate.
The perspex sides and front were attached with right angle brackets to the aluminium base, I also some used some old meccano pieces to hold things together.
One assembled I worked out where the wiring would need to go and where the power source and controller would be mounted.
I wanted to use a new servo and motor controller board for this raspberry PI powered robot. This was a new design from a friend of mine, and I had promised to test and evaluate it on one of my robots.
I configured the drivers for the board and ensured the operating system of the PI was on the network I would using for ease of programming later. As I would be running the PI headless.
My motors were rated for up to 12v, but I wanted to use a 2S Lipo as a power supply as I had some of them not being used. So I intended to run the robot at around 7v.
Next I fitted 2 strips of neopixels that I placed behind dark perspex at the front of the robot.
Then I went on to programming and apart from finding I had a bad Servo which needed replacing. After a few hours I had a 4 wheel steering height adjusting robot.
This was great fun to build and it took me about 3 days to get this far. Next I want to get some good programming done with it, and add some sensors so I can explore using this robot in an autonomous way.