Monday, June 29, 2020

Tilt - A Balancing Robot (#1) - Thinking about it

Tilt will be my next robot with a focusing on implementing Dynamic Control in Robotics.

There are a good number of videos on YouTube from 2 years ago on how to build a "self-balancing robot". I do find these fascinating, and I would like the experience of building one - of course as cheaply as possible with as many reused parts as possible.  ;)

I am challenged by the engineering aspects of this type of robot.  Perhaps because ... that an inverted pendulum was offered as a senior project when I was an undergraduate. I passed on it due to the complexity at the time, and lack of good motors and controllers. Yes, I am a bit haunted that I *should* have done this project. So, I feel like I should re-live my Control Engineering days and build this robot! :)

I feel that these type of control will be standard in most future interesting robots. I sense that we are still at the early aspects even though Dynamic movement has been a part of the current stable of robots. we are starting to see combinations of quadrupeds -and- wheels. (Soon, I would not be surprised to find reaction wheels also included for more stability and agility.)  

However - after all that is mentioned, these types of developments are still very uncommon in the DYI Robotics space!

Moving forward with this robot, the numbers and types of parts are limited.  Here is what I am considering at this point:

  • 2 wheels, recycle, reuse, or print
  • 2 motors - 9-12v from a recycled printer
  • 2 belts - to drive the wheels and do some gear reduction/torque
  • 2 encoders - used to measure the output of the motores
  • 1 motor driver for DC brushed motors (L298N)
  • 1 micro controller - EPS32 or Arduino Nano or other
  • 1 motion sensor - MPU-6050
  • 1 battery solution - drives the motors, powers the electronics
What else would I need?

OK - Time to scavenge for parts!  and think about an encoder solution.

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