GUI Bot, a overview…
I few months ago, I started a prject of a little robot, to be able to self study some control, resolve maze algorithms and do something fun. The robot needs to be small with very quickly and smart movements.
The prototype was a success, made with some materials that I already have and with little issues, work’s great!. It can do:
- Move, turn and gyro with speed and agility;
- Speed up and Stop when you need;
- Generates little sounds/alerts (and some music too, like a old cell phone);
- Detects and follow a black line over white plane;
- Easy programs changes, via USB/Serial adapter connection and a bootloader on the microcontroller;
This is my prototype, called GUI v1 (honor my son, Guilherme), build with universal PCB and some wires:
The chassis was made with PCB it self, because I don’t like spend time to find some special enclosure to it. The universal PCB was cutted with Dremel and all components are soldered with a common solder iron. I need to confess: when the prototype was finished, it’s length and robustness impressed me. I don’t spect. See it in action:
After some tests that comprove some abilitys, I started to design a well polished and projected PCB. Now the hard work begun. I used Eagle software to design the circuit and PCB, but I don’t have all parts I want. So, I’ll go at SparkFun to find some devices I like to use in the robot. They have all really nice stuff you can think.
The processor (a Microchip PIC18F452) running at 20MHz and control motors speeds, LEDs, Buzzer, Wireless and all the embbeded stuff. It’s using a Bootloader to facilite the program upload, so the user don’t need complex flash programers to load their own software on the board. Just compile your program and upload via USB cable using a serial program like Hyperterminal or Putty.
Now, with the PCB designed, I’m going to BacthPCB and ordering some pieces. BacthPCB do a nice and decent job to amateurs designs, because they accept even a one board was order. The time to process your order is about 20 days. You can view my design (up board) and the processed PCB below:
After have almost all parts soldered and load some basic program to test, the result is:
It’s power come from a little 3,7V Lithium-Polymer battery, charged via USB mini-B connector. I’m calculating the robot autonomy, as son as possible I’ll post this important data.
And if you can see this little robot in action:
As you can see, your movements are clean and fast, but with the control it’s can be smooth and slow. Now I need finish the Wireless comunication. I’m wonder if the program upload can be done via wireless…
The total cost of the robot it’s about $200 (excluding post services of board and components). The robot don’t stay in comercial prodution…maybe after some corrections and testes I change my mind.