Sunday, 27 January 2019

New Year, New Look

So much for doing lots of robot building over Christmas - there was just too many other things to do. But now it's January and things are getting back to normal. After making lots of progress at the beginning of December in getting the robot talking to the Arduino and using it's sensors for a straight line test, we realised it was time to rework the chassis to get everything fitting the way we want it to. Part of this was to put another layer to hide the wires and mount the BBC micro:bit.

Here is the result:

Picture of Sputnik from side
Sputnik side view
Sputnik Top View

The different layers were designed using Inkscape - and the paper templates printed out and stuck onto 3mm plywood using a removable spray mount. These were then hand cut using a Dremel Moto-Saw and the holes drilled with a cordless hand drill. The 3 layers were then fitted together using 40mm M4 spacers. The base is used to mount the motors, arduino, ultrasonic sensors and battery holder. The middle section is smaller to leave room for the front sensors and the battery pack at the back. This is used to mount the Raspberry Pi and ThunderBorg motor controller.

The top section is used to mount the micro:bit - currently stuck to the paper template on the top with velcro until we're sure exactly where we want it. The top will also be used to mount any attachments we need to add.

The shape of the top was supposed to represent the Sputnik satellite - with a round body and 4 antennae - but it looks a bit more like a jellyfish at the moment. Maybe when we get round to painting it silver it will look a bit better.

This is actually the 2nd chassis we've built in the last 2 weeks. The 1st one was very similar, but then I realised I hadn't planned for where to put the vertical supports. These blocked the USB ports of the Pi and also the place where we wanted to mount the front offset sensors, so we had to rework the middle section to make it a little more complicated. 

Next we need to take a serious look at implementing the challenges - only 2 months to go!

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