First steps 2010 & 2011, microbots workshop

Assembled bot
Anonymous (not verified) Mon, 30/07/2012 - 15:07

In spring of 2010, I attended a microbot workshop where we were supposed to learn to build and program a simple line follower, with two sensors and two servos. 3003 Futaba servos where mechanically freed from tops and potentiometer was detached from axis and left untouched (after being calibrated), so a pwm signal from the PIC microcontroller would mean continuous rotation movement in the servo.

Custom board for a line follower based in PIC


Equipped with a grabber


The controller board was a custom PIC based board, with six inputs for infrared line detecting sensors and two pwm outputs for servos. Bot had to pick up a soda can in the 2010  competition, so that's why you can see a toy grabber in the front. It also had two lateral switches as whiskers just in case of collision.


NASA assembly style


Programming was C based with MPLAB and compiled with PicLite. The chip was a PIC16F876,  burned through the same controller and a parallel port with ICprog. I was totally lost in all the details both in the program and procedures and any difficulty would turn into a total stopper. Construction in this workshop was so lousy..just a start.

That was the bot base, but I put quite an amount of time into it, even modeling a kit to be made out of standard aluminum profile, which never made it into reality.


3D modelling of alternative bot

On 2011, we build a bot based in this config, but with five IR sensors and a different grabber.








It worked most of the time so we attended Desafío Robot 2011, a local academic bot competition. But being right, there it wouldn’t fire up so we went just to see how our bot wouldn’t even make a move :(. We learnt  lot in the way to failure though.