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PROJECTS Robotics

DFROBOT Devastator on Windows

DFRobot Mar 05 2015 199

 

This project started off like many the desire to build and the curiosity to see if it would work. Thanks to both the desire to build and the curiosity the project came to life. Oh and I almost forgot thanks to DFRobot for the Devastator base. The object of this was to fit a netbook or tablet on this small base. The base itself is well constructed and very sturdy. The main portion of the base is made out of metal. The kit comes with all the hardware, drive motors, tank tread, toggle switch, female power jack and tools to boot. The current base is adjustable and able to house a 8" tablet to a 10" notebook. The battery pack is a 4.8v 3000 mah Nicad battery pack. The servo control board is from DFrobot, its the Veyron 24 channel. How do we drive the geared motors. I used two Tower Pro 9g s90 servos. After taking the two servos apart I discarded the motor in each. Next I measured the potentiometer to see what its resistance was and replace it with two resistors. I then soldered new wires for the output to the motor and cut a small slit in the servo case to pass the wires through. What we end up with is a nice little motor controller in a case. The software that it is currently running on is designed in .NET and is my first try and making a piece of software easy to use. While it still needs some refinement it does work. The goal on the software is to make something that a child could use to start learning how a robot works. Making something easy to use is not so easy. The user presented the whole process in steps. Step 1: we select a delay start time, the servo channels to use and the comm port. Upon completion of the first step the second step appears. Step 2: Select the direction of travel, select the speed of travel and then the time to travel. Steps 3, 4, 5 and 6 are all repeats of step 2. after each step the user is given the ability to save what they have just done or reset it or run it. You can save it and then run it and then load it back in and modify it some more until you get the desired results. While this is no great achievement in robotics, it is an interesting project and has presented me with even more curiosity.

 

UPDATE: Recently I have been using the software I designed that detects and follows colors. For my initial test I used a green piece of poster board and placed it in an area away from the view of the webcam. The RoboTank roams around until it detects that color and then goes directly to it. The next test was to move the poster board and see if the TankBot could follow it. Following does occur but I need to change the reaction time the software has. The software tends to react to the movement of the poster board quicker than I can move so it sort of over shoots the movement of the poster board and then has to correct its self which makes the RoboTank move left, right, left, right instead of doing slight right or left and moving forward. I believe I can correct this issue by changing the speed of the motors so the reaction time it slightly slower. Once this is working correctly I will then move onto using my object detection software and will post results of this.

 
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