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M1 Rover

UNMANNED GROUND VEHICLE, Compatible with Arduino

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After building a number of indoor robots, I decided to build an outdoor robot capable of traveling through rough terrain. I call it “M1-Robot.”
M1-Robot motor is easily drive four DC motors driving with Arduino so it’s perfect for any robotics project, I thought this would make a fantastic heart for a more powerful robots, So I designed the off-road 4-wheel-drive M1 from the scratch.
It’s not just a RC car, it can be programmed to be self-driving follow a set of instructions or even be controlled from a remote computer, and it can be used via game controllers and custom joysticks like a remote control car.

Step 1: Design

Designing your own product or prototype is loads of fun, but it become more complicated when you decided to make it in a live size scale. So I choose Google Sketch-up 2017 as powerful and easy designing tool and it allows you export the blueprints of your model to a laser cut machine or even 3D printer.

I spent the first three weeks designing and constructing the hull of the robot.

As for materials, I was given a sheet of 3mm Wooden board.

The not-so-nice final wiring of the robot, which, because of time constraints, consisted of stuffing the entire roadkill into the hull.

I thought an apt name for my robot was M1Rover. Because I’m planning to develop a versions of it in a sequence names like M2, M3, etc. It designed in a Kit, all you have to do is to assembly it with some screws.

Step 2: Components and Features

⦁ Up to three hours runtime!

⦁ Designed for the Arduino Uno, Mega and Nano.

⦁ 5V-9V DC Operating Voltage

⦁ A 3mm thick wooden chassis

⦁ 68mm diameter wheels L298N Dual H-Bridge Motor/Stepper

⦁ 9v batteries to power up the DC motors

⦁ 9v batteries to power up the Arduino

⦁ LED lights 7 for rear and front

⦁ HC-06 Bluetooth module

⦁ Arduino sensor shield v5.0

⦁ Ultrasonic transducer HC SR04

Step 3: The Motor Controller

H-Bridge's are typically used in controlling motors speed and direction, but can be used for other projects such as driving the brightness of certain lighting projects such as high powered LED arrays.

⦁ Make sure you have all of your grounds tied together; Arduino, Power source, and the Motor controller.

⦁ The PWM Pins are unnecessary if you do not want to control PWM features.

Step 4: Assembling Chassis

Chassis has been cut using laser cutter in a few parts, and as I mentioned before the model was created in a kit easy to assembly, so all you have to do is to follow the instructions below.

Considering the design was also important and when it comes to RC cars it should contains of front and rear lights. At the front of M1-Robot I put 4 white LEDs each one is connected to 220 ohm resistor, and in the rear I put 2 red LEDs with 220 ohm resistor for each. These LEDs can be controlled by the same application

Step 5: Circuits

Circuit was little bit tricky because when you decided to control many electronic parts at the same time you should take care about the sequence of each part.

⦁ Arduino Sensor Shield 5.0

⦁ Arduino Uno R3 L298N Dual H-Bridge Motor/Stepper

⦁ 9v battery to power up the DC motors

⦁ LED lights 7 (2 rear) and (4 front)

⦁ HC-06 Bluetooth module

⦁ Ultrasonic transducer HC SR04

⦁ Servo motor 9g

⦁ Active Buzzer

⦁ 4 DC motors with wheels

Step 6: Software

I considered amount of things while writing the code of M1-Robot, and with GUI software you are able to get more information about robot status.

Actually the codes are separated in two parts:

⦁ Arduino Code

The Arduino code is compatible with any kind of controllers because all the electronic parts are programmed to work through serial port orders, so you may use Bluetooth module sender/receiver, PC, Cell phone.

⦁ C# windows application (screenshot attached)

Step 7: PACKAGES

STARTER

This M1rover package entails basic components while the top plate allows for easy mounting of any sensing, manipulation or computer hardware. Simply attach sensors to the onboard and Rover power supplies to get started.

EXPLORER

The Explorer package enables basic indoor and outdoor autonomous functionality, and instate of IP camera I used a mobile phone cam connected to the internet via IP address.

MAPPING

The Explorer package enables basic GPS tracking of course while the vehicle is outdoor, it’s very cool when you watching the coordinates paths in the real-time.

MANIPULATION

Interacting with the world with a robot arm and a 2 finger 50mm Gripper

Important Tip:

Not all servos have a full 180 degrees of rotation. Many do not. You can write a test to determine where the mechanical limits are. Use servo.writeMicroseconds instead...

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  • Robot Capabilities

    Ahmed Azouz09/27/2018 at 06:52 0 comments

    It can be programmed to be self-driving follow a set of instructions or even be controlled from a remote computer, and it can be used via game controllers and custom joysticks like a remote control car. Another method to control the robot through a windows-based applications like a rescuer-bot or spy-bot to creep up on your friends, and it can also be controlled autonomously using self-driving code. The robotic possibilities are endless! It’s extremely robust which make it great foundation for all kinds of projects, for M1-Robot I have loads of code examples and even openCV code you can download, these are great regardless of whether you are “just getting started” or you are trying to make your robot doing really cool things. It developed in a low cost material and expendable wheeled-robot. This state-of-the art robot has the potential to be used in rescue, government, and civilian purposes.

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carlfugate wrote 10/09/2018 at 02:17 point

Fantastic project Ahmed!  I've ordered the parts to build one.  Are the design files available for the body?

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Peter Walsh wrote 10/02/2018 at 23:25 point

Are the chassis files available anywhere?

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markbneal wrote 10/02/2018 at 18:59 point

do you have an approximate parts cost?

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carlfugate wrote 10/09/2018 at 02:18 point

Ordering from Aliexpress it looks like the electronics components can be sourced for under $15!

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Florian Festi wrote 09/28/2018 at 07:14 point

A step-down DC-DC converter is a small module that works like a voltage regulator but does not turn the voltage difference into heat but into additional current. They are pretty cheap depending on the current and voltages supported. Using one would allow you to get rid of the additional battery pack for the robot arm - assuming you have a beefy main battery. 

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Florian Festi wrote 09/27/2018 at 08:23 point

Nice project! I am kinda surprised that it actually works. The power supply looks a bit under powered. May be they have better 9V block batteries where you live. But in general they can't supply much current (and have very little capacity). For all the motors and servos I would rather use a lithium battery.

The linear voltage regulator on the L298N board also doesn't look adequate to supply enough 5V current. It may work now but if you add your robot arm - with servos running from the 5V rail - you may run into trouble. I would suggest to use a proper step-down module that can supply a couple of amperes without over heating.

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Ahmed Azouz wrote 09/27/2018 at 08:39 point

Thanks a lot Florian, Actually I'm planning to upgrade the Robot size and capabilities, And the first step will be using a lithium battery instated of that one.

The robotic arm is powered separability by 6 volt battery (1.5 X 4 AA), and there is a place inside the chassis to fix the battery pack, So soon I upload a photos to describe this point more.

And for using step-down module ... I think I have to read about it more.

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