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Robotics Project for a beginner

  1. Sep 30, 2010 #1

    I've undertaken a mini project in which I basically want to construct a robot with as many accessories attached to it as I can fit in.This would include blades,drills,pneumatics etc.

    For a start, can anyone throw some light on the following:

    1. How to make the robot water resistant- (do I need special wheels to allow the bot move in water....do I need special motors ....how do I protect the motors agains water)

    2.How to attach a firing mechanism (to fire small balls which are supposed to be 'bullets'-will this mechanism be controlled by a separate set of DPDT switches?

    3. Could I try making my robot remote controlled by using IR sensors,just like we do in TV sets?? If so, how to go about it??
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 30, 2010 #2


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    I think you need to nail down exactly what kind of robot you're designing and what requirements you're trying to satisfy before we can give you any useful feedback. A "robot with blades, drills, pneumatics, and waterproof" is pretty general.
  4. Sep 30, 2010 #3
    Actually I'm focusing on learning the very basics,so that I can learn,(by making this robot) how to go about fitting these basic things...later,when I go for any competition or exhibition,I can implement the stuff I'll learn while making my rather 'general' robot.I like to call this as my 'prototype' robot!!

    As you must have figured,I'm in a very preliminary stage,so I would appreciate any views you put forward.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2010
  5. Sep 30, 2010 #4


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    For the very basics, I'd recommend http://www.parallax.com/" [Broken]. They have lots of hobbyist-level robotics kits, and many accessories in terms of sensors and controllers.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  6. Sep 30, 2010 #5


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    Sounds like a battle-bot to me.
    The first thing that would concern me is the control factor, so I'd make sure that the antenna isn't vulnerable.
    As to the firing mechanism, I'd just use a STSPM switch. My recommended armament would be a Solothurn S18. It's a nice wee gun from Switzerland that fires 5 semi-auto rounds of 20mm that will blow the living **** out of something like a Brinks truck... so it should take care of your opposition.
  7. Oct 1, 2010 #6
    Thanks for the info,guys!! I think the 'Boe-Bot' kit would be pretty good for what I want to do (I'm talking about one of the kits offered on parallax.com).
    I'm not sure whether this will be feasible for me,as I live in India,but it's worth a try.I'll get back to you when I get some more information.
  8. Oct 4, 2010 #7


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    I just realized that I omitted the ":biggrin:" from the end of my comment about the gun to indicate that I was joking, and it's too late to edit it. I certainly hope that no one took it seriously.
  9. Oct 4, 2010 #8


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    Well, I for one enjoyed the joke.

    Back on subject, during the last two years in high school I participated in the BEST robotics competitions (www.bestinc.org, for those unfamiliar). We used R/C aircraft controllers and receivers for control, which was attached to a custom microcontroller called a "BRAIN" that you could program in C. They aren't publicly available, but there are similar devices available. (Actually, they currently use a controller by VEX. Haven't used it, so I can't give an opinion.)

    There are a variety of motors and servos available; with these and a good control system you can pretty much build anything.
  10. Oct 5, 2010 #9
    I wish I had done some robotics in high school,then I wouldn't have been struggling so much in college!! In my college,people tend to participate in robotics events which do not require very much technical knowledge but rather requires one to make a robot withthe most basic components according to a 'problem statement'.Especially when it comes to manual robots,I've seen people simply pulling out parts from one robot and fitting them into another with a different chassis!!

    Anyway,in order learn some proper robotics,I've been able to find a 'robotics centre' near college,which I'm trying to join and as per Mech Engineer's sugestion,I'll try to get a kit from parallax.com....which will provide me a 'self-learning' opportunity.

    I hope I'm on the right track.
  11. Oct 7, 2010 #10


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    Sounds like.

    The only "robot" that I ever built was when I was 9 years old. It consisted of a large soup can with a couple of electrical conduits as arms, mounted upon a large-wheeled base that I scavenged from a toy skip-shovel. It went like hell in whatever direction I pushed it.
    My dad recognized that I liked the idea of robots, so he bought me one on my next birthday. It actually walked by itself, its eyes lit up, and every few steps it would halt and blast a cloud of smoke out of its mouth.
    Then some bastard invented integrated circuits and took all of the fun out of it.
  12. Oct 9, 2010 #11
    Hey, even I had a toy robot like that when I was 8-9 years old!! :-)
  13. Oct 9, 2010 #12
    Hi Urmi..
    for a water resistant robot all u've to do is to enclose the motors of the robot in a sealed "dabba" or plastic box. make sure you seal it properly. No need of special wheels and special Motors. You can use conventional DC motors used for robotics.
    for IR sensors visit http://robokits.co.in they've a series of sensors. you can use them directly.
    regarding the bullet mechanism u could try using rubber band(i am not sure).
    Attaching blades,pneumatics isn't an easy task. You should be more specific what to attach where only then people will be able to guide you.
    Best Luck.
  14. Oct 9, 2010 #13
    Hi koolraj!!
    Thanks for the information!! I'll certainly check out the webpage about how to attach IR sensors-it's this part of my project that I'm most worried about.

    Again,making a firing mechanism won't be easy,as I somehow have to make it automatic!! I mean,suppose I'm in a sumo-wrestling event,and I need to attack my opponent,how would I do it with the least manual intervention??Let me know if you have any more ideas.

    About how to make my robot water resistant,I gather from your post that all I have to do is to prevent the motors from getting into contact with the water and my wheels can still be sticking out,as usual?

    Hmm... I got some help with the blades from a senior and about the pneumatics,well,I'll have to see!!

    Thanks again for your help!!
  15. Oct 9, 2010 #14
    About the water resistant robot you got it right. Just make it properly sealed so that it doesn't drown. It's a trial and error process. You can also put cycle tube filled with air so that it doesn't drown. And as usual wheels outside the bot.
    Regarding the firing mechanism it's complicated to construct. You can directly use linear pneumatic actuators to propel the balls..so straight forward. But if you want to use mechanical i/p like a motor you can use a "drawer slider" and pull it and push it repeatedly using a rope and pulley mechanism on it. You can always get a slider in a scrap market after all and it's cheap too. Here you can make as many shots as you want..but it'll become l'll bulky.
  16. Jan 4, 2012 #15
    Water throwing mechanism

    How can we use syringe mechanism in a robot to put out a candle?
  17. Jan 4, 2012 #16


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    Re: Water throwing mechanism

    1 - fill syringe with water
    2 - aim syringe at candle'
    3 - activate screwjack attached to syringe

    Welcome to PF, Akash.
    This constitutes what we call a "necropost", though, so both of our comments might be expunged from the record. Ideally, you should start a new thread rather than unearth one that has been dead and buried for years. That is particularly relevant in this case, wherein the question that you posed is only marginally related to the topic of the thread. (Don't take that as a put-down; I've done it myself more than a couple of times.)
  18. Jan 4, 2012 #17
    Just a few thoughts based on personal experience being a Mechatronics graduate myself.

    Many beginners are attracted to robots because maybe they happen to have witnessed or seen a working robot moving about, doing things as commanded or that are designed to do.

    Then, they decide to study robotics. If they are serious in pursuing this path, they will inevitably engage in learning various technical knowledge about robotics such as programming, physics, mathematics, control theory, logics, artificial intelligence, sensors, gears etc etc etc....

    Most of them after only being exposed to a tiny tiny percentage of robotics, they will find themselves smacked right in the face feeling as if they had not been learning the right things but in truth they just have no clue of what robotics is about.

    What I want to say is that robotics is not as straight forward as "I want to add this or that on my robot" unless if you want to design a very meaningless robot because robotics is a highly technical discipline and there is no avoiding it.

    I suggest that you start with something very general and can be done at home like learning how to use Adruino and investigate various applications. If you are so willingly to spend money, get mindstorm or similar toy robots which you can program and control. Then, see how much interest do you have in exploring this very tiny view into robotics and how much frustration from failure that you can handle. Only then you would know (roughly) how interesting or not robotics is to you.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2012
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