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PROJECTS RoboticsArduino

Autonomous Tank with GPS

DFRobot Feb 08 2018 746

I decided to make Devastator Tank Platform autonomous and also have GPS capabilities. This tank robot would use an ultrasonic sensor to navigate, where it moves forward while checking its clearance. If it gets too close to an object or other barrier it would check each direction and then move accordingly.


Assembling the Chassis

The kit comes with extremely easy-to-follow instructions for putting it together. In addition to 4 simple structural pieces, it features many different mounting holes that can support boards such as the Raspberry Pi and Arduino Uno. I started by getting the suspension attached on each side of the chassis, and then put the wheels on. After that I simply screwed each piece together and added the tracks.

Hardware components:

Devastator Tank Robot Platform
GPS Module with Enclosure
Teensy 3.5
Ultrasonic Sensor - HC-SR04 (Generic)
Micro Servo 9g
HC-05 Bluetooth Module

Software apps and online services:
Arduino IDE
App Inventor

Hand tools and fabrication machines:
Screwdriver
DeWalt Cordless Drill

Creating the Electronics
I decided to use a Teensy 3.5 for the brain on my robot, as it could support multiple serial connections and ran at 120 MHz (compared to 16 for an Arduino Uno). Then I attached the GPS module to the Serial1 pins, along with a Bluetooth module on Serial3. The L293D was the best choice for a motor driver, as it supports 3.3v in and 2 motors. Last was the servo and ultrasonic distance sensor. The chassis supports one microservo on the top, and in addition to that I glued on an HC-SR04 due to its low power usage and ease-of-use.

Making the App

I wanted this robot to have both manual and autonomous capabilities, so the app provides both. I started by creating four buttons that controlled each direction: forward, backward, left, and right, and also two buttons for switching between the manual and autonomous modes. Then I added a list picker that would allow for users to connect to the HC-05 bluetooth module on the robot. Finally I also added a map with 2 markers that displays the location of both the user's phone and the robot. Every 2 seconds the robot sends its location data via Bluetooth to the phone where it is then parsed.

You can find it here https://github.com/having11/RCTankApp

Assembly

Putting it all together is fairly simple. Just solder wires from each motor into the proper pins on the motor driver. Then use some standoffs and screws to mount the board onto the robot. Make sure the GPS module is outside of the tank so its signal isn't blocked by the metal frame. Finally connect the servo and HC-SR04 to their respective locations.

Using It
Now just attach power to the motors and the Teensy. Connect via the app to the HC-05 and have some fun!

SCHEMATICS


CODE

#include <Adafruit_GPS.h>
#include <Servo.h>

Servo pan;

// what's the name of the hardware serial port?
#define GPSSerial Serial1
#define BT Serial3

// Connect to the GPS on the hardware port
Adafruit_GPS GPS(&GPSSerial);

int8_t pins[7] = {38,37,35,36,16,17,23};
int8_t pingPin = 16;
int8_t echoPin = 17;

#define LAT_OFFSET .2752
#define LON_OFFSET .13715
     
// Set GPSECHO to 'false' to turn off echoing the GPS data to the Serial console
// Set to 'true' if you want to debug and listen to the raw GPS sentences
#define GPSECHO false

bool automatic = false;
const int safe_distance = 18; //How many cm away is safe

uint32_t timer = millis();


void setup()
{
  //while (!Serial);  // uncomment to have the sketch wait until Serial is ready
  
  // connect at 115200 so we can read the GPS fast enough and echo without dropping chars
  // also spit it out
  Serial.begin(115200);
  BT.begin(9600);
  Serial.println("Adafruit GPS library basic test!");
  for(int i=0;i<4;i++){
    pinMode(pins[i],OUTPUT);
  }
  pinMode(pingPin, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(echoPin, INPUT);
  pan.attach(pins[6]);
  pan.write(90);
  // 9600 NMEA is the default baud rate for Adafruit MTK GPS's- some use 4800
  GPS.begin(9600);
  // uncomment this line to turn on RMC (recommended minimum) and GGA (fix data) including altitude
  GPS.sendCommand(PMTK_SET_NMEA_OUTPUT_RMCGGA);
  // uncomment this line to turn on only the "minimum recommended" data
  //GPS.sendCommand(PMTK_SET_NMEA_OUTPUT_RMCONLY);
  // For parsing data, we don't suggest using anything but either RMC only or RMC+GGA since
  // the parser doesn't care about other sentences at this time
  // Set the update rate
  GPS.sendCommand(PMTK_SET_NMEA_UPDATE_1HZ); // 1 Hz update rate
  // For the parsing code to work nicely and have time to sort thru the data, and
  // print it out we don't suggest using anything higher than 1 Hz
     
  // Request updates on antenna status, comment out to keep quiet
  GPS.sendCommand(PGCMD_ANTENNA);

  delay(1000);
  
  // Ask for firmware version
  GPSSerial.println(PMTK_Q_RELEASE);
}

void motors(int m1Val, int m2Val){ //0: stop, 1: forward, 2: reverse
  switch(m1Val){
    case 0:
      analogWrite(pins[0], 0);
      analogWrite(pins[1], 0);
      break;
    case 1:
      analogWrite(pins[0], 150);
      analogWrite(pins[1], 0);
      break;
    case 2:
      analogWrite(pins[0], 0);
      analogWrite(pins[1], 150);
      break;
  }
  switch(m2Val){
    case 0:
      analogWrite(pins[2], 0);
      analogWrite(pins[3], 0);
      break;
    case 1:
      analogWrite(pins[2], 150);
      analogWrite(pins[3], 0);
      break;
    case 2:
      analogWrite(pins[2], 0);
      analogWrite(pins[3], 150);
      break;
  }
}

void loop() // run over and over again
{
  if(automatic){
    motors(1,1);
    delay(10);
    int distance = ping();
    if (distance==0) distance = safe_distance + 2; 
    if(distance < safe_distance){
      Serial.println(distance);
      motors(0,0);
      motors(2,2);
      delay(400);
      motors(0,0);
      pan.write(30);
      delay(500);
      int distance_r = ping();
      pan.write(150);
      delay(500);
      int distance_l = ping();
      pan.write(90);
      if(distance_r > safe_distance|| distance_l>safe_distance){
      if(distance_r < distance_l){
        motors(1,2);
        delay(200);
        motors(0,0);
      }
      else if(distance_l < distance_r){
        motors(2,1);
        delay(200);
        motors(0,0);
      }
      }
      else{
        motors(2,2);
        delay(300);
        motors(0,0);
      }
    }
  }
  if(BT.available()>0){
    int cmd = BT.parseInt();
    Serial.println(cmd);
    switch(cmd){
      case 1: //Forward
        motors(1,1);
        delay(400);
        motors(0,0);
        break;
      case 2: //Reverse
        motors(2,2);
        delay(400);
        motors(0,0);
        break;
      case 3: //Right
        motors(2,1);
        delay(400);
        motors(0,0);
        break;
      case 4: //Left
        motors(1,2);
        delay(400);
        motors(0,0);
        break;
      case 5:
        automatic = false;
        motors(0,0);
        break;
      case 6:
        automatic = true;
    }
  }
  // read data from the GPS in the 'main loop'
  char c = GPS.read();
  // if you want to debug, this is a good time to do it!
  if (GPSECHO)
    if (c) Serial.print(c);
  // if a sentence is received, we can check the checksum, parse it...
  if (GPS.newNMEAreceived()) {
    // a tricky thing here is if we print the NMEA sentence, or data
    // we end up not listening and catching other sentences!
    // so be very wary if using OUTPUT_ALLDATA and trytng to print out data
    //Serial.println(GPS.lastNMEA()); // this also sets the newNMEAreceived() flag to false
    if (!GPS.parse(GPS.lastNMEA())) // this also sets the newNMEAreceived() flag to false
      return; // we can fail to parse a sentence in which case we should just wait for another
  }
  // if millis() or timer wraps around, we'll just reset it
  if (timer > millis()) timer = millis();
     
  // approximately every 2 seconds or so, print out the current stats
  if (millis() - timer > 2000) {
    print_gps();
  }
    
}

void print_gps(){
  timer = millis(); // reset the timer
    Serial.print("\nTime: ");
    Serial.print(GPS.hour, DEC); Serial.print(':');
    Serial.print(GPS.minute, DEC); Serial.print(':');
    Serial.print(GPS.seconds, DEC); Serial.print('.');
    Serial.println(GPS.milliseconds);
    Serial.print("Date: ");
    Serial.print(GPS.day, DEC); Serial.print('/');
    Serial.print(GPS.month, DEC); Serial.print("/20");
    Serial.println(GPS.year, DEC);
    Serial.print("Fix: "); Serial.print((int)GPS.fix);
    Serial.print(" quality: "); Serial.println((int)GPS.fixquality);
    if (GPS.fix) {
      Serial.print("Location: ");
      Serial.print(GPS.latitude/100, 5); Serial.print(GPS.lat);
      Serial.print(", ");
      Serial.print(GPS.longitude/100, 5); Serial.println(GPS.lon);
      Serial.print("Speed (knots): "); Serial.println(GPS.speed);
      Serial.print("Angle: "); Serial.println(GPS.angle);
      Serial.print("Altitude: "); Serial.println(GPS.altitude);
      Serial.print("Satellites: "); Serial.println((int)GPS.satellites);
    }
    /*BT.print("\nTime: ");
    BT.print(GPS.hour, DEC); BT.print(':');
    BT.print(GPS.minute, DEC); BT.print(':');
    BT.print(GPS.seconds, DEC); BT.print('.');
    BT.println(GPS.milliseconds);
    BT.print("Date: ");
    BT.print(GPS.day, DEC); BT.print('/');
    BT.print(GPS.month, DEC); BT.print("/20");
    BT.println(GPS.year, DEC);
    BT.print("Fix: "); BT.print((int)GPS.fix);
    BT.print(" quality: "); BT.println((int)GPS.fixquality);
    if (GPS.fix) {
      BT.print("Location: ");
      BT.print(GPS.latitude/100, 5); BT.print(GPS.lat);
      BT.print(", ");
      BT.print(GPS.longitude/100, 5); BT.println(GPS.lon);
      BT.print("Speed (knots): "); BT.println(GPS.speed);
      BT.print("Angle: "); BT.println(GPS.angle);
      BT.print("Altitude: "); BT.println(GPS.altitude);
      BT.print("Satellites: "); BT.println((int)GPS.satellites);
    }*/
    if(GPS.fix){
      BT.println(String((GPS.latitude/100)+LAT_OFFSET,5)+",-"+String((GPS.longitude/100)+LON_OFFSET,5));
    }
    
}

int ping(){
  long duration, inches, cm;
  digitalWrite(pingPin, LOW);
  delayMicroseconds(2);
  digitalWrite(pingPin, HIGH);
  delayMicroseconds(5);
  digitalWrite(pingPin, LOW);
  pinMode(echoPin, INPUT);
  duration = pulseIn(echoPin, HIGH);
  cm = microsecondsToCentimeters(duration);
  return cm;
}

long microsecondsToCentimeters(long microseconds) {
  // The speed of sound is 340 m/s or 29 microseconds per centimeter.
  // The ping travels out and back, so to find the distance of the
  // object we take half of the distance travelled.
  return microseconds / 29 / 2;
}
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