M.R. E.T. C.E.T.E.R.A #0

Modular Robotic Ecosytem To Clean EveryThing Even(tually) RadioActivity

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The core concept is a solar(or whatever renewable is appropriate) charging station for a swarm of robots.

I'd like this project to serve as a model for future projects in addition to the specific system i build this year.
The only conditions to fit the model are:
-Two or more semi-autonomous robots that communicate with a separate central system.
-Renewable energy source if the robots need to charge(could be embedded in the robots themselves)
-Can't be used to kill anyone
-make up your own M.R.E.T.C.E.T.E.R.A. acronym to fit its porpoise. (have fun with it! It's mandatory)

This system will be geared towards environmental analysis and cleanup. Oftentimes there are places humans cannot or should not reach in any efforts to clean up pollution. An autonomous force that can be remote controlled if necessary could prove quite useful in these cases.

Ultimately the project will have many types of smaller robots who will all have the same charging apparatus but will differ in their functions. Some will collect details about the environment, while others alter it; Removing plastic or other pollutants from water for instance. Different pollutants will require different approaches and the goal is to have an "ecosystem" which will support multiple varieties of bots designed by anyone who wants to design and build one.

Initially the design will be comprised of two types of robots: A solar charging station and smaller scout robots. The scouts collect information about the surrounding environment and transmit it to a central database on the charging station which is then accessible to all the scout bots.

  • 1 × Solar Panel 100 Watt 12 Volt
  • 1 × Charge Controller 12 Volt 20 Amp Solar Charge Controller Kit
  • 1 × Racking System Probably gonna be 2x4s and some scrap metal bolted together
  • 1 × Shading optional if the panel is big enough to provide shade
  • 1 × 12 V Deep Cycle Battery Amp Hours would vary depend on your budget/system requirements

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  • Video!

    Dylan James Carr08/17/2015 at 20:33 0 comments

  • Building the Charging Station Pt. 2

    Dylan James Carr07/29/2015 at 19:25 0 comments

    I'll be using the above link as reference for some parts of the system and may refer and link to it through out this post as it develops.

    So you have a grounded and hopefully mounted solar panel system charging some batteries, now to connect that to a power supply for a computer system and the charging ports for the bots.

  • I ♥ Deadlines

    Dylan James Carr07/29/2015 at 18:43 0 comments

    my favorite excuse for procrastination is that I work better under pressure. HA! This post is mostly just to prove that I'm still alive and lay out some goals for myself.

    OK, now I actually have to get some stuff done:

    - Line diagrams for charging station and one robot


    -Full component list

    -Complete list of everything left to do


  • Robot #2 : The Nose

    Dylan James Carr03/30/2015 at 19:13 0 comments

    To accurately map a pollution problem some way of differentiating between chemicals present in the environment must be used. Normal vision will not provide all the information needed as sometimes pollutants are invisible to the naked eye(bot). Spectrometry offers a deeper insight into an environment and will be a valuable addition to the info about a cleanup site.

    I'll be investigating a number of options and will probably choose the cheapest one for the first build.

    Here are a couple possibilities I have come across:

    C12666MA Micro-Spectrometer

  • Building the Charging Station

    Dylan James Carr03/30/2015 at 08:26 0 comments

    The first build will be relatively simple. One solar panel and one battery. Only the charging ports to begin with so the robots will not be connected to anything yet as far as data sharing goes.

    Electricity is dangerous, grounding is important. Make sure this device is grounded before everything is patched together into a circuit.

    Build the Solar circuit-

    • Start with your Racking system.
      • I will go into further detail in the future but make sure your bots have sufficient space and shade(mostly from the panel) and you have space to implement the onboard computer.
      • 2x4s will work work to mount the racking system for your solar panel.
    • attach solar panel. In this example it is a 100 Watt 12 Volt panel.
    • Attach the panel to the racking system.
    • Wire it to your charge controller and wire the controller to the battery like so:

  • Robot #1 : The Eyes

    Dylan James Carr03/30/2015 at 07:23 0 comments

    Maybe something along these lines? This module will serve as the main mapping hardware & will build a GPS relative map stored in the charging station's on-board computer.

  • 2015

    Dylan James Carr03/25/2015 at 01:53 0 comments

    So I figure I'll throw my hat in the ring for the 2015 prize and see what happens. It's still very barebones on this page but I'll be beefing it up as the week goes along.

    I welcome any suggestions and constructive criticism as I am certainly an amateur at this point. On that note, I'd be interested in putting together a team, ideally a 2-6 person team with individuals who can specialize on certain elements. I myself am becoming fairly well versed in solar technology and can put that together no problem. Designing and programming robots is something I'm very interested in but have no experience in.

    Team or no I am going to get rolling with this now, stay tuned!

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davedarko wrote 03/13/2015 at 23:47 point

except restroom areas. Because water and stuff.

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Dylan James Carr wrote 03/25/2015 at 01:56 point

ha yeah water's gonna be a challenge.  First version will be land based fosho

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davedarko wrote 03/25/2015 at 06:07 point

did I win something by replacing the question marks? :D anyway, interesting project - good luck with the price!

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