Evolution of a Blog

This blog has evolved as I have as a maker. It starts at the beginning of my journey where I began to re-tread my tires in the useful lore of micro electronics and the open-source software that can drive them. While building solutions around micro-electronics are still an occasional topic my more recent focus has been on the 3D Printing side of making.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Overview of the Major Parts

With the brain in hand (ok, not exactly in hand since it is on a multi-month back order) we could still get the parts and configure my laptop as a linux machine to get started on the development.    So here is what we are going to use as our robot platform:

The Brain:   We already know that the Raspberry Pi is going to be the brain but we need a mission for the robot.   I am not looking to do rocket science so my mission is reasonably simple.   In the first state I just want to be able to control the robot via a web interface.   Clumsy but it will get things working.  Then in an autonomous mode I would like the robot to be able to map a room.

The Platform: The Rover 5 was my choice of a platform.  A treaded two or four motor system with encoders for distance measurement.  A simple platform for the rest of my stuff!

Platform - Rover 5

The Nervous System:   While the Raspberry Pi features a pretty good low level peripheral interface I needed more so enter an Arduino Mega.   This provides the spinal cord and then enter an Explorer PCB for the rest of the nervous system.

Nervous System - Arduino
Nervous System - Explorer PCB

Sensory System:  The Explorer PCB provides current sensing, encoders, and four corner proximity sensors.   To this I am going to add an ultrasonic range finder on a pan/tilt mount and a compass for direction finding.   Finally, a webcam on the pan/tilt mount will connect directly to the RPI.
Almost all of the bits-and-bobs that I show and talk about on this Blog were purchased from the RoboSavvy UK Store.   They have good prices, fast dispatch, and good customer service the one time I needed it.

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