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Mechatronics Learning Studio

 

 

 

 

 

Objective

 

The objective of the project was to use selected electronic components along with the knowledge of what was learned in ELG3336: Electronics for Mechanical Engineers, to design a robot which will be remotely controlled. The robot will be controlled by wireless commands sent from a computer.

 

Material Used

 

IMAG0043.jpg

 

Qty

Item

Source

1

Plastic Container

Dollarama

-

Elastic Bands

Dollarama

4

Omni Wheels

Robot Shop

4

HS-311 Servo Motors

Robot Shop

1

Arduino Duemilanove Microcontroller Board

Robot Shop

2

Xbee Transceivers

Robot Shop

1

Xbee Shield

Robot Shop

1

Xbee USB Connector

Robot Shop

1

Cirocom GPS

Robot Shop

1

Computer

N/A

1

USB Cable A to B

Computer Store

1

MicroUSB Cable

Computer Store

1

9V Snap Connector

RadioShack

2

Battery Packs

RadioShack

1

Breadboard

RadioShack

8

AA Batteries

Any Electronics store

1

9V Battery

Any Electronics store

-

Single Core Wires

Any Electronics store

-

Nuts and Screws

Hardware Store

-

Cardboard

Boxes

 

 

Tools Used

 

         Permanent Marker

         Ruler

         Grid paper

         Scalpel

         1 Phillips Screw Driver

         1 thin flat head Screw Driver

         Pliers

         Spare paper

         Hot glue gun and hot glue sticks

 

Block Diagram

 

Applications

 

The following is a list of some applications that the robot can be used for

 

         Robot garbage collector

         Security

         Dangerous waste disposal

         Robotic maid

         Unmanned military vehicles

         Remote assistance in isolated areas

 

Conclusion

 

There were some problems that we encountered when building and testing the bot. The main problem that was encountered while building the robot was that the plastic container holes had to be precise as to not accidentally make the container buckle or cause the servomotors and wheels to slant on an angle. There was also no room for error as we could not add back to the containerís plastic if we accidentally cut the hole in the wrong place. This was solved by carefully planning out and brainstorming ideas and methods of solving the problem. After choosing solutions, they were followed carefully and y was successful.

 

Our main problem we encountered while testing was with the potentiometers on the servos. The circuitry of the robot was in a compact space and that the support structure was flimsy. This made it easy for the exposed potentiometers to be hit and cause the wheels to start creeping. We frequently encountered this and we had to be very careful when transporting the robot and the speed at which the robot changes directions.

 

When using the GPS, we encountered some interference when working in some places. It produced longitude and latitude values which were a couple kilometres away from where the robot actually was. This could have been due to the weather or the materials within the building where the testing occurred. Other problems that we faced were wires becoming loose and batteries not supplying enough current to either the servomotors or Arduino during wireless control.

 

We were able to complete the main functions of the robot, which was to have it move in planar directions using a computer to wirelessly control it. We were also able to include a functioning GPS waypoint finder to it. We were not able to add distance sensors such as sonar or infrared sensors due to them not being in stock. For the future, we would like to include these sensors to allow the robot to avoid objects if proceeding to a waypoint and not crash or fall. We also would like to use a single unified battery pack instead of using 8 AA batteries for the servos and 9V battery for the Arduino. We would also like to change the chassis structure and shape to overcome our potentiometer problems.