I’ve started a new project, another “robot” and I’m going to name it Volga. When I was drawing a track in Autocad for the robot to follow I thought it looked like a river 🙂 And it’s made up of cheap parts just like those Russian cars. This will be a simple line following robot, and a cheap one. I already had 95% of the parts needed to make a line following robot, and almost all of them come from Ebay. So it only took a couple of hours to built it to the state it is in now.
For the chassis I used a plastic box that I had lying around. The motors are 2 continuous rotation servos stuck to the chassis with double sided tape, I screwed 2 cheap 76mm wheels from Ebay to the servo horns. Also on Ebay I found a cheap castor wheel. I made up my own line following sensor, it consists of 3 TCRT5000 sensors soldered to a pcb. The pcb is mounted to the front of the chassis with 2 brass spacers.
The brain of this robot is an Arduino Nano. Power comes from a 2 cell Lipo battery, the battery is connected to the Vin pin of the Nano and the input of a 3 Amp UBEC voltage regulator. The UBEC gives 5V to the 2 continuous rotation servos. I first experimented with a LM7805 linear voltage regulator. But it became so hot after only letting the servos run for 5 min I decided to use the UBEC. I’ve hooked up an IR receiver to the Nano so I can control it with a small remote control, which is always handy. I’ve not coded the line following capability yet. I first wanted to test the basic functions, motors forward, backward, left and right. At the moment I only have a basic sketch to remote control the robot through the IR receiver. It’s a start 🙂
The Arduino Nano is sitting on a breadboard for now, I’m planning on building an “undershield” for it. I recently stumbled on the website of Rocket brand studios, they sell a small pcb where you can put an Arduino Nano on. I’ll make up something similar but I’m waiting for some female header pins. This shield will make it a lot easier to connect stuff to the Arduino Nano without using a breadboard.