I work for a school and am going to try and build a robot for them. It will
be a small, cheap line follower robot that pupils (around 12 years old) will
assemble with instructions. Can anyone please recommend parts for this sort
of idea? At the moment i'm in the design stage. The school does have access
to soldering irons and a number of components.
While your school does have soldering irons, will they let 12-year olds
A couple of different systems spring to mind:
1. Lego Mindstorms. This is about as easy as you're gonig to get.
2. Some systems based around RoboBRiX (http://www.robobrix.com /).
These are small modules that allow use to create robots.
3. Me, I'd put together a few bases from Budget Robotics and
get some preprogrammed PICs
Kronos Robotics (http://www.kronosrobotics.com/) makes several
very nice controllers (Athena, Dios, etc...) that run a Basic
uVM chips run compiled Java. I once put together a simple
robot that just used a very few parts: the base, the uVM
chip, a resonator and a couple of sensors and batteries.
Poof. Instant robot.
D. Jay Newman
I'm on pretty much the same track as you. I'm also working towards
developing a few robots for my school with the idea being that
students can use the robots to explore rudimentary programming (via a
set of directions entered into a keypad) as well as investigations in
This, I hope, will lead onto programming using LOGO,and then C#
If you haven't got a well tooled up workshop, then I'd go for kits.
There are any number of cheap line following robots available, more
toys than robots exactly.
If you're able to produce your own robots, well that's different. I am
literally in the process of putting together the main circuit board
for my robot. It's made of perspex with a couple of stepper motors
salvaged from old printers driving a pair of Du-Bro model aircraft
wheels. If you have access to a metal lathe that makes machining the
extra mechanical bits you need a lot easier.
For the main board you could go with a preassembled board, maybe
something with a BASIC STAMP or there are other alternatives. I have
designed my own circuit based around 2 UCN5804B stepper motor
controller chips, driven by a PIC 16F84A. With the right equipment
these boards are easy enough to make at home.
It also has a 7805 voltage regulator for the 5V logic and I/O
connectors, including 4 bump switch inputs and a keypad connector.
For the keypad I am using old AT keyboards chopped in half and turned
into handheld controllers. They also use a PIC 16F84A chip to scan the
keys and send the data back to the robot.
For programming I am using Pic Basic Pro, since I couldn't figure out
serial comms in assembly language.
As for the sensors - I need to get hold of some IR leds and
photodiodes, but the signal from the photodiodes will be sent through
an LM339 quad comparator to yet another PIC. This circuitry is
actually on a separate board housing speech synthesis and
amplification. The PICs utilise serial communication to share
My initial design is a bit processor heavy, because I want it to do a
few other things, but a line following robot could be built on one
board with a single PIC.
Actually I haven't tested the board yet (still needs some resistors on
it etc) so I don't know how everything will come together but who
knows, it might even work.
On Fri, 04 Mar 2005 21:05:08 GMT, "Himszy"
Just wanted to mention, we will shortly be in production on an ARM based
micro, which will be _considerably_ more powerful than a stamp, and in
our TiniXXX format, with a 16/32 bit processor running at 60MHz, and
priced retail at $29.
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