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Needle Bot

Collects needles and lost screws with a magnet.

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Time to make robots that actually do something useful. Since my girlfriend picked up stitching, there are some needles mysteriously appearing on the floor from time to time, in addition to the odd screws that appeared there before. So I decided to make a small robot that would ride around the room randomly and collect them with a magnet. Imagine a very small Roomba for metal things.

It's pretty much the simplest thing that could possibly work. I used one of my old servo brekout boards as a base (as I have lots of them). Two servos with stripped gears had those gears removed and were converted to continuous rotation. A Pro Mini acts as the brain. Two SMD switches are attached to the whiskers, which should be enough for basic obstacle avoidance.

As small caster ball acts as the third wheel, and a small LiPo battery provides the power.

  • Version 2

    ðeshipu04/03/2017 at 10:50 0 comments

    This time I'm using small motors with gearboxes and an h-bridge. I'm also putting an ESP8266 on top, for convenience of programming. Once I get the code right, i might replace it with an atmega.

  • Back to the Drawing Board

    ðeshipu05/09/2016 at 00:10 0 comments

    You might be wondering what happened with this project. Well, not much really. The servos with one stage of their gears removed turned out to be quite fast, but too weak to work reliably. The servos also turned out to be very uneven at different speeds, and getting them to spin consistently was too much pain. I guess I will turn to motors, H-bridges and encoders next.

  • Running in Circles

    ðeshipu02/20/2016 at 00:02 0 comments

    I assembled the little guy, glued the servos (using two-sided tape, of course) and put some balloon rubber on the round servo horns, as tires. Then I programmed it to go straight and turn a little bit, then repeat. I'm a bit disappointed that the servos have wildly different speeds:

    Oh well, that will require some fine-tuning.

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