Sunday, 8 April 2012

The Mmmm Bot

It's time to move on from Bob The Boe Bot, and begin work on my first proper project - Mmmm Bot. So named as it'll be created at my work (media molecule) and will be pink. See for why this is relevant...

Me and John will be building Mmmm Bot from scratch, using an Arduino as the brain. Before getting all electronical though, this is a nice diagram to show the basic chassis structure and where bits will go:

Mmmm bot plan - bottom layer on left, top layer on right

We're building the chassis from balsa wood, with some aluminium fittings to attach the motors to, and potentially an aluminum frame if we decide strength is an issue. As you might have spotted, it's a fairly similar design to the Boe Bot chassis, however it's scaled up significantly and will have much more room for a very large (18cm/18cm) prototyping board, with a big sensor array on top.

A fair amount of wood, a lot of super glue, a craft knife and a nice power tool later we have a frame. John certainly takes credit for the bulk of the work on this, and I learnt quite a few handy tricks watching him build. My favourite 2 lessons were probably don't cut balsa wood with a massive power tool, and super glue mixed with saw dust gives ultra hard instant resin. A close up will show how we used the super glue trick to get nice filled joints.

The motors themselves are 10 to 1 geared dc motors which kick out 360rpm with a torque of around 1.5kg/cm. Hopefully enough to push a few kilograms of robot without much difficulty. Oh yeah, and they look very chunky! We'll be driving the motors with a powerful sabre tooth motor controller, which has all sorts of fancy features that I'll go over in a later post when I come to hook it up (and it arrives in the post).

Annoyingly the biggest problem right now is getting a hold of bolts. Yes, I said bolts. Ultra sound sensors, accelerometers, motors, microcontrollers all in abundance, but try and get a hold of some specific nuts and bolts and you're in trouble. <sigh>.

Well, that's the start of building Mmmm Bot. In the next post I'll go over my experiences getting my first Arduino up and running. Until then, so long...


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