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Two Wheel Self Balancing Trinity College Fire Fighting Robot Contestant

Puts out candles with a robot gripper
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Update 1/18/2016

There will probably be a new robot chassis. I think I was going about this the wrong way. The two wheel self balancing, the robot gripper that puts out candles, and a few other things were not such a good idea. Stay tuned.

Personal Backstory

It all started one day when I decided I wanted to participate in a robot competition. I first looked at the current LMR competitions and I couldn't find any decent ones. Then I went to my friend ggallant and he said this. He told me I should participate in the Trinity College Firefighting Challenge and so I did. This is my first attempt so far at doing the challenge. It is not complete but roles around in circles as I got the motors working. 

The reason I am posting this as is and work in progress is that I feel I could use the motivation to keep moving forward. Thank you and I will enjoy all the love and support you give me even if it is negative. There is no such thing as bad press I like to say.

Present State of the Robot

The present state of the robot is awesome. It is at the very moment having moving motors and 12 volt power to the motors and the arduino. Right now all it does is move in circles but that won't be the case for long. 

When I first got my idea for a chassis I grabbed a pokemon card tin and hot glued two motors with a mount attached to them to the bottom of the pokemon card tin. Then I drilled some holes so the arduino can make the motors run.

Then I used my Cytron motor driver and attached it to an arduino mega and got the motors to run. Then I hotglued the electronics to the top of the 8 AA battery pack and stuck it inside the robot.

Then I attached a motor hub to the robot and then shortly after wheels with hot glue. The wheels my dad stole from a few rc toys of mine. This is the robot so far...

The Robot's Future

The robot I have plans for it to self ballance without an IMU. I will use a ir proximity sensor to measure where it is leaning and ballance itself from there. For it to put out candles I have plans to use this gripper to smuther the candle.

Conclusion

None so far... Stay tuned...

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Noah,

I wouldn't call it a failure, just a minor setback. Took me 10 years to get a winning robot at Trinity. Trying to compete for the first time with a self balancing machine was more than an overreach. Suggest you edit your post to reflect a delay while you investigate the fundamentals.

Dear: GG

I didn't mean for this to be a failure. That day I posted that I should not have said that. I will rephrase and thank you. I probably was too amitious about the robot in general. I will take a few steps back. Thank you.

From: Noah

Dear: GG

I didn't mean for this to be a failure. That day I posted that I should not have said that. I will rephrase and thank you. I probably was too amitious about the robot in general. I will take a few steps back. Thank you.

From: Noah

gg is right.  Not a failure, just retooling your goals for future success.  The Trinity challenge is not easy.  Don't give up just because it is hard.  

You are going to be there in 2017, right?  

 

 

Thank you dad for your support and everything!!!

It's easy to underestimate how much it takes to get a working robot together that is able to complete that challenge, even though the challenge is quite straight forward at a high level.

My advice: 

* keep it simple.  Especially your first one.  Then improve upon the working design. 

* make sure you have a convenient way to debug and test your robot. Bluetooth is your friend!

* give simulation some thought.  once I have overcome the initial hurdle it became a huge time saver for me. 

If you search youtube for "candlefinder" you will see some of my clips.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uvRlgDC0qk

If you decide to change course and try a wheeled platform, I'll gladly offer some "what works and what doesn't" type of advice.  As an engineer, I don't like reinventing the wheel and I don't think others should have to.