• Kicking robots: Why? For Whom? Can they break things?

    Joshua Elsdon12/07/2017 at 17:46 0 comments


    This is a stub entry for this project as most of the software is adequately covered by the parent project, micro robots. Though I will detail what makes these robots different (and similar here). 

    How are they the same? 

    The circuit for the robots is almost entirely the same in structure, using larger SMD parts to make this robot a reasonable project to assemble with children/teenagers/undergraduates/professors. All of the pictures on this page are of robots assembled by my teenage students. 

    They can also more or less use the same binaries as the micro robots project, the chip is the same and as much as possible the pins are connected similarly. They also occupy the same 'eco-system' (oh boy I am overselling my botched code now) as the micro robots, meaning they can operate within the same ROS system, with the same commands/ IR interface etc. 

    How are they different? 

    The only new circuitry is the driver for two solenoids that are to be used for kicking game objects etc. These are surprisingly powerful, though considering they draw ~200W perhaps not as powerful as I would like. They can ping a ping pong ball most of the way across a room, or a squash ball around 30 cm. If balanced on their end they can even jump an inch or so. Currently they are pulsed with 80ms of full LiPo shorting goodness, with a hold of time of 1s, to stop the students catching things on fire. The coils currently are using 0.62mm wire and measure 0.3ohms each and are driven effectively in parallel, though they can be activated individually applications where you want a directional kicking or double barreled 'rocket' launchers. 

    Due to the larger size and flex cable between the main board ant the motors they should be much more robust than the micro robots. Larger motors and batteries mean that the robot also has a much longer run time, probably around 1 hour of 'normal use'.  

    Below are some clips and images. They are not high quality as they were not originally meant for public consumption.  

    Can they break things? Not a ping pong ball. I will keep ya posted.