My office is too small for a mobile robot

4wbotThe bot itself is pretty small, but it really needs room to move around. Each gearmotor has a slightly different friction threshold in the gearbox, so at low drive they don’t match up at all. At higher speeds they match pretty well, but then the damn thing is halfway across the room in a few seconds, so programming maneuvers is hard. Even if it can start or stop in a fraction of a second, I can’t really see what’s going on when things change that fast. I could rebuild with those tiny geared stepper motors, but that would be stupid. (And yes, I’ll likely print up some encoders, but turning that information into low-speed motor control is not my idea of fun or simple. Does anyone know what happens when you power one of these gearmotors in reverse while it’s still moving forward?)

So instead I’ll just move the testing to a slightly bigger room, either at home or at Local64 (won’t people there be happy to have something scampering about underfoot). Once I get this thing turning reliably, I think it’s going to get a Pixy Cam so it can chase colored balls. And maybe even a gripper. By the time the driveway is visible again, the software might be ready…

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2 Responses to My office is too small for a mobile robot

  1. Dolphy-King says:

    I know how you feel! The first rover I made went too fast in such a small area, and unfortunately the “obstacle avoiding” function was still being worked on… Ended up breaking computer :(

    But hey, I learned!

    I’m interested in using a Pixy Cam as well. If you get one working let me know..

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