RCJ Rescue Line Robot // PCB Robot

A tracked robot built with a PCB as base plate - for the RoboCup Junior Rescue Line competition

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A tracked robot built with a PCB as base plate - for the RoboCup Junior Rescue Line competition

This is a tracked robot built for the RoboCup Junior Rescue Line competition.

Summary of competition (as stated in RoboCupJunior Rescue Line – Rules 2019):

An autonomous robot should follow a black line while overcoming different problems in a modular field formed by tiles with different patterns. The floor is white in colour and the tiles are on different levels connected with ramps. 
Teams are not allowed to give their robot any advance information about the field as the robot is supposed to recognize the field by itself.
If the robot gets stuck in the field, it can be restarted at the last visited checkpoint. The robot will earn points when it reaches new checkpoints. At the end of the line there will be a rectangular room with walls (the evacuation zone). The entrance to the room will be marked with a strip of reflective silver tape on the floor. 
Once inside the evacuation zone, the robot should locate and transport as many live victims (reflective silver balls of 4-5 cm diameter that are electrically conductive) or dead victims (black balls of 4-5 cm diameter that are not electrically conductive) as possible to an evacuation point in one of the corners of the room, the robot should distinguish between live and dead victims and save live victims first.


The robot has one big PCB as a base where everything is mounted to (sensors, motors and the remaining electronics) instead of an 3D printed base. This allows to directly solder the sensors to the PCB instead of using many cables.

On the top of the PCB will be a 3D printed base mounted (with distance sensors and servos) to rescue the victims in the evacuation zone.

Robot (top)
Robot (top)
Robot (bottom) with motors, green support plate and sensors
Robot (bottom) with motors, green support plate and sensors


The robot is powered by 2 3500mah 18650 Li-ion batterys. 2 LDO's are on the PCB for 3.3V and 5V voltage.

It has 2 TCS34725 color sensors and a Pololu QTRX light sensor array (QTRX-MD-13RC).

To read the sensors and drive the motors the PCB has 2 Arduino compatible ATSAMD51 120mhz microcontrollers (Adafruit ItsyBitsy M4 Express).

The DRV8838 breakout boards from Pololu are used for driving the motors

The PCB also features 4 LED's (2 pogrammable, 2 power indicators), 1 Buzzer and 3 Buttons.

The motors used are Pololu 20D mm Metal Gearmotors (6V) in combination with custom 3D printed mounting brackets.

Team and plans:

Our team consists of 2 members.

First we will make the PCB and pogramming for the Line Following part (mostly done). Later we will build the 3D printed base for the evacuation zone.

  • 2 × Adafruit ItsyBitsy M4 Express Microcontroller
  • 2 × Adafruit TSC34725 Color Sensor
  • 3 × SMD Button (6mm x 6mm x 5mm)
  • 2 × 18650 Battery 3500mah
  • 1 × Unisonic Tech UZ1085L-33-TN3-R 3.3V LDO LDO

View all 12 components

  • Line Following part almost done!

    GameArea15801/26/2020 at 20:01 0 comments

    Sorry that I didn't post any updates for so long. I will try to update this project from now on more frequently.

    We have made a lot of progress in the meantime so I will try to describe as much as I can.

    First we've fully assembled the new PCB and tested it. Everything worked as expected. 

    We improved the support plate and designed a new motor mounting bracket which is now more stable, made custom brackets for the shaft of the front wheels and designed new wheels which are better compatible with our tracks.

    For the color sensor to detect green we had to cut 2 small pieces of a black rubber tube and glue it on the color sensors. We also glued a plastic plate between the color sensor and the light sensor to prevent external light interference.

    On the software side we programmed everything to follow the line, detect green points and the obstacle. The only thing that is left to do is to prevent the robot from detecting green points which are directly after the black line placed.

    With the 3 buttons we can start/stop the robot, change the direction where it turns to when it detects the obstacle and we can re-calibrate the light sensor array (calibration data is saved on the flash).

    I will make a new log when I made some further progress on the robot in some weeks.

  • PCB V1.1 Ready

    GameArea15807/13/2019 at 13:03 0 comments

    PCB V1.1
    PCB V1.1

    This is Version 1.1 of the PCB. I only need to do some minor changes until I order this board in a few days.
    I have fixed all errors and made some improvments.

    The biggest change is that I now use 2 Adafruit ItsyBitsy M4's instead of one and an ESP-32. 
    Also there is now space for a buzzer and there is a voltage divider circuit to measure the battery voltage.

  • PCB V1 (Some errors)

    GameArea15807/13/2019 at 12:55 0 comments

    PCB V1

    PCB V1

    This is Version 1 of the PCB. I already tested it. Everything fits correctly but I have made some errors. The biggest problem is that I have used a 0.2mm spacing instead of the 0.1 inch spacing for the holes at the light sensor array.

    I'm now working on V1.1. 

View all 3 project logs

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