Mechatronica 2000 Eindhoven

built by Matthijs Boerlage

*
Target Environment Locomotion Method
Indoors 4 Wheels
Sensors / Input Devices Actuators / Output Devices
impact whiskers DC motors
LEDs
steering solenoid
Control Method Power Source
Autonomous Battery
CPU Type Operating System
Motorola HC11 None
Programming Lanuage Weight
N/A N/A
Time to build Cost to build
see comments $50
URL for more information
http://snowwhite.dyndns.org/~matthijs/robotics/
Comments
This robot is build by a group of ultra enthusiastic students of Mechatronics at the Fontys University of Professional education Eindhoven, the Netherlands. The project evolved from a course in microcontrollers and other digital control systems. In our project, the most famous 68HC11 microcontroller of Motorola was studied. The members of the team are:

Bart van Bragt
Paul Barends
Hugues Nsungu Ngelesi
Matthijs Boerlage

Under guidance of Johan van Engelen and Piet van Amerongen.

Description of the robot:
The robot is based on a dirt cheap RC car. The motor with gearbox is driving the backwheels and a very cheap solenoid is used for the steering unit. These actuators are controlled using H-bridge interfaces (L293D for solenoid and MOSFET's for motor). It also has some really cool flashing lights above the wheels. These are used to at the very first stage of programming. If you can get a LED blinking, you can control the rest of the world just as easy ;-) For sensing objects, two front whiskers are used. These are just plain microswitches attached to metal wire.

The function of the robot is pretty simple. It always drives forward until it hits an object with the whiskers. It then turns back in a curve and goes forward again.

Problems:
We really wasted months on communication errors between the PC and HC11. We have tried everything (different board layouts, optocouplers instead of MAX233/232, d11 and windows terminal instead of PcBug, etc.) and walked into some really really strange problems. Finally, we borrowed a working HC11 board from a friend and started working on the other electronics and software. Making the interfacing electronics and software was not a big deal. I think we generally spent a week (approx. 8hrs.)on driving electronics and spent more than three months (approx. 100hrs.) on interfacing the HC11. If we had more time for the driving electronics, we would probably have some more sensors. But hey, maybe next time!

Part list:
- RC car

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