Introduction: Dual Track Robot
I started out by purchasing the Starter Robot Kit from Makeblock makeblock.com
the kit is not offered on their site anymore I found mine on Amazon. The company does offer separate parts and small kits for around $100 USD my kit was $80. Upon opening my kit however I found the company gives you plans to build 3 different robots but the kit does not have the parts to build any of these. On a more positive note I found the parts to be of high quality and if you don't want to fabricate anything one of there larger kits will serve you well.
In all fairness I just wanted the Tread Kit, Hubs, Wheels, Motors and Motor Mounts and could have bought them from the website separately.
Step 1: Unpack Parts and Analyze the Build
I unpacked the parts and began to try to build something from what I had. What I found was the sideframes that where of equal legnth were not long enough for use with the track kit when 20 links were used by shortening the treads to 18 links I was able to build the bot in the picture.
Step 2: Fab Front Pulley Mounts
Because the treads had to be shortened to 18 links and the build winds up being higher in the rear I decided to fab mounting plates for the front pulleys that would fix both problems. See the photos of what I came up with.
Step 3: Build an Electronics Tray/chasis
Next I fabricated a plate to attach to the Makerblock rails, this gives my robot more of a home built appearance and a place to bolt things to as it evolves.
Step 4: Adding a Battery
Because most of the Ardruino kits use 4 AA batteries and run time is very short I decided to use a 6 volt sealed lead acid battery. This battery can be purchased at Home Depot as it is used for a back up battery in alarm systems. The downside is this battery is quite heavy also the motors are rated at 9V so top speed of my robot will be affected, however I hooked up the platform temporarily to the battery and the speed is adequate for a living room rover.
Step 5: Mounting the Electronics
I built a breadboard on a small piece of aluminum and bolted it to the front of my bot this will act as a test bead for ultra sonic sensors and perhaps a servo positioner should it be required. then I mounted the arduino to the back of the bot over the batery.
Step 6: Hooking It All Up
Next I wired it all together and also built a small control panel with a charging jack and an on/off switch. The bot is now ready for code.
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