Project been on hold for a bit.

Due to back pain I have not been doing very much to this project lately.  But what I have done is complete a knight rider scanner LED circuit running on 168 Arduino nano.  The code for this was cribbed from the internet. 

I also created a perfboard PCB to simplify connections so each of the boards can be simply plugged in.  This will make the whole thing a lot more modular.

Changes to robot design and further thoughts

 You may have noticed in the circuit below that I have added a Bluetooth module. I was also was wondering if the weak motors were due to lack of current from the AA batteries so I have ordered a 7.4V lithium Polymer battery and charger.  I could use the Nano to monitor the battery voltage and even send this value over Bluetooth as well as indicating low battery voltage with a LED.

Another thought I had was adding a Knight rider type 8 led display to make it look like the robot was scanning. This would require a second Nano and/or a shift register circuit.  But this is after everything else is working.

Robot coding

The code I’m using for the balancing robot is based on a sketch that is all over the internet in various guises.  I can’t find any mention of the original author.  The version I am working on was part of a project by Aalto University in Helsinki. It is the only one that tried to use the encoders on the dc motors for additional stability.  I say tried because their project ultimately failed to produce a stable robot.  I can but try,  at least it’s a starting point.  The Aalto University project can be found here.

Balancing robot circuit

I have completed a circuit layout for the balancing robot. Not sure if the motors I bought are going to be up to the job due to lack of torque and slack in the gearbox.  We will see.

Balancing robot update

Frame built for balancing robot.  I used a 3mm acrylic sheet built in 3 tiers using stand offs.  Motors, battery holder and electronic module boards are also fitted. The modules are a MPU6050 which is a  3-axis gyroscope and a 3-axis accelerometer combined, a L298N a dual H-bridge motor controller. Currently I have both an Arduino Nano and a ESP8266 onboard.  The initial thought was to use the ESP alone but it looks like it wont have enough GPIOs (at least not without a lot of jumping through hoops). So currently going to use the Nano to control the robot and the ESP to communicate with it at least that’s the plan.  However I am waiting on a couple of ESP32s coming from China these have built in Bluetooth. There is also the option of adding Bluetooth to the Nano.  Watch this space.

Planned Projects

The first project has been posted this is Installing WordPress on a Pi Zero W. I may document other projects I have done in the last few months but I will certainly publish any new projects. One project I will be publishing is a balancing robot. I have most of the parts for this. I’m still looking around for a frame and also not sure if it will be Arduino or ESP8266 based. This depends on if I want it to be autonomous where I might get away with using a Arduino mini or controllable through my phone or tablet or even both using a ESP8266. Of course I could use a Raspberry Pi but i don’t have one spare at the moment.