Introduction: Mechanical Light Sensing and Flex Sensors Controlled Flower Robot

Picture of Mechanical Light Sensing and Flex Sensors Controlled Flower Robot

Purpose :

Create a robot that follows light and can move with flex sensors on a glove

This instructable was inspired by :

https://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Robotic-Hand-C...

This instructable was created in fulfillment of the project requirement of the Makecourse at the University of South Florida (www.makecourse.com).

Step 1: Part List

Picture of Part List

MAKEcourse Kit : get it here

If you do not feel like purchasing the whole kit get the following :

Mechanical :

[ Pack of 5 ] Micro Servos

[ 2 ] Standard Servos

[5+] Ball Bearings { 0.5 inch }

Electrical :

[ 5 ]Flex Sensors

Computer :

Autodesk Inventor 2014 :

free for 3 years - just sign up

http://www.autodesk.com/education/free-software/al...

Arduino IDE

http://arduino.cc/en/main/software

Step 2: Mechanical Design

Below are the STL files ready to be 3D printed

You could 3D print the brackets, but they need to be edited so they are not as brittle.

I would recommend buying the brackets from amazon.

The specific brackets are :

Short U Bracket :

http://www.amazon.com/Beautyforall-Steering-Bracke...

or :

http://www.amazon.com/heartsea-technologyShort-U-S...

Long U Bracket :

http://www.amazon.com/Happy-fly-shop-U-Shaped-Stee...

Oblique Bracket :

http://www.amazon.com/Beautyforall-Oblique-Steerin...

Could also buy the kit for other robot projects :

[ Which comes with ball bearings and screws ]

http://www.amazon.com/SainSmart-Educational-Bracke...

Step 3: Wiring + Electronics

Picture of Wiring + Electronics

The basic idea is :

The large external battery goes into the step down regulator.

Then the regulator goes to the power rails on the breadboard [ which is the messier looking PCB board you see in picture 8 ].

The servos are connected to the ground and power of the power rail [ supplied by the regulated voltage ].

The signal wires of the servos go into the digital pins of the arduino.

Then , the power and ground for the sensors [ photo resistor + all flex sensors ] comes from the arduino board.

The signal wire for the touch pad goes into one of the digital pins, while the flex sensors are placed into the analog pins [ but not before a resistor is placed in series -- see the spark fun link for more clarity ].

Once the breadboard functions, then buy some PCB [ like this type ] and you are set.

Here is a similar project which did a very good job at showing the wiring for the photo-resistors and servos :

https://www.instructables.com/id/Control-Servo-with...

Fritzing Image + Wiring Clarifying : https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/sik-experimen...

Step 4: Code

The Code is well commented but here are things to keep in mind :

  • The comparison [ line 96 ] can change depending on the light you apply to the photo resistor and ambient light settings.
  • [Line 162] : the range for each flex sensor is different, so change the first two numbers to get a better resolution. Also, the servos are contrained from 70 to 110 degrees because of clearance issues and a smoother operation.
  • [Line 253] : Included to make sure the touchpad works before wiring everything.

Here is a good, shortened example of the flex-sensor code using serial print to see the values [ change 0 to 100 ]

http://bildr.org/2012/11/flex-sensor-arduino/

Or : Using 1 servo

https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/sik-experimen...

Step 5: Conclusion (with Video and More Pictures)

Thank you for viewing my instructable.

Finally, I would like to thank the following people for helping me make this project possible:

Dr. Rudy Schlaff

Eric Tridas

Sergei Dines

Dominic Cox

If you have anymore questions , feel free to message me.

Comments

thebear1 (author)2014-12-15

well done nice project it's nice to see young persons put up on instructables projects of this type and not just a photo or two with no instructions on how it was made

thank you

seamster (author)2014-12-10

Very nicely done! Great first project, too.

Welcome to instructables!

ThaoDo (author)seamster2014-12-12

Thank you for taking your time to view and comment on my project!

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