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Pingbot is a very small (38mm diameter), usb rechargeable, programmable, musical, remote control robot designed for maximum fun and danceability.

I've built a few experimental robots in the past and, to be honest, they all looked the part. They were nothing more than circuit boards with wheels glued on.They did help me learn, but they just didn't feel like completed robots. The main purpose of this project was to combine electronics and 3D fabrication into a robot complete in both form and function. A fun robot with a sleek look and a bit of personality. The second goal was to make the robot as small as possible, smaller than half a ping-pong ball (hence the name).



In this Instructable I will share what I've learned while creating the Pingbot. Included is information about PICAXE Micro-controllers, surface mount soldering, PCB design, Autodesk's 123D 3D design software and 3D fabrication, rechargeable lithium-polymer batteries, as well as a few painting techniques.

Included are schematics, a PCB layout, PICAXE code, 123D model files and pictures of the construction process. You will also find a wealth of links to detailed information that is relevant to the project, as well as suppliers for the parts used in the Pingbot.

Update
MSurguy, a friend I made through this instructable, has finished his own version of the robot. Instead of a 3D printed shell he used an actual pingpong ball cut in half, check out the video: http://vine.co/v/bJViYxMAzTw

Step 1: Body Shell 123D Design and Fabrication

The outer shell for Pingbot was designed using Autodesk's FREE 123D 3D modeling software. It took me about a week of fiddling around with the program and referencing the tutorials before I got the feel for it. Once I had a handle on the basics, I chose a material and created the final model. The model was saved as an STL file, a common 3D model file type, and uploaded to 123D for fabrication. The completed model along with a version containing the separated components are both available in the 123D gallery, where they can be viewed in an interactive 3D preview. They are also included with this Instructable.

Choosing a Material
It is important to choose a material before you start working on a model as each material has different guidelines that you must follow while you are designing. The materials vary in the minimum wall thickness, minimum detail size, flexibility, and other properties. Some materials are weaker than others, large models made from them may need inner structure to support the weight.

I chose to have the shell for the Pingbot printed from the Durable Fine Plastic. This material is strong enough to be used as a working prototype and its minimum detail is a minute .2 mm. It is more costly than other materials, but since the cost of a model is partially determined by its volume, the shell was incredibly inexpensive to have fabricated. All totaled, it uses less than 1/3 cubic centimeter of material.

Creating the 3D Model
Although it was printed as one solid piece, the 3d model was made from separate components that come together to make a hemisphere. This was necessary as it allowed the edges of each of the parts to be rounded off.

To begin I created a hollow hemisphere with a 1mm wall thickness. I then copied/pasted the original shell, drew new shapes, and extruded these new shapes to subtract (and intersect) from the hemisphere. After completing all the parts I beveled the edges to create the seams. I've included a couple of pictures of the process.

While designing this robot's shell it was important to remember to add holes for the components that needed to be accessed from the outside. For the USB connector and micro-switch I use the PCB design along with the components' data sheets to determine where, and how big, the access holes needed to be. I also added some holes in the back to help let out the sound from the peizo speaker (the speaker was plenty loud and these holes were likely not necessary).

Upload and Fabrication
In order for a model to be printed, all the separate components need to be welded together to create one solid piece. Once this is done It can be saved as a STL file and uploaded for printing and sharing. (You will need to be logged into 123D to be able to save as an STL.)

This video is of the Object Connex 3D fabrication machine, which is likely close enough to the model of machine used to create the Pingbot shell. It demonstrates how the machine prints the model in layers along with a support material. When fabrication is complete the support material is blasted away leaving the final piece.

<p>Superior...!!<br></p>
<p>Really good...!!</p>
<p>The first road I would try would be to add a sound sensor.</p>
<p>Terrific</p>
<p>Good</p>
<p>I'm not sure if there is a need really, although I have had a handful of students and teachers contact me looking to make their own versions for educational purposes.</p>
<p>Its tremendous</p>
<p>Its tremendous</p>
<p>The first road I would try would be to add a sound sensor. Then you could set up 3 IR/Sound beacons in a room. The robot would receive a light and sound signal from the beacon and measure the time between the IR and audio to determine distance.</p><p>www.bosswallpapers.com</p>
saya sudah mebuat ini tetapi saya bingung bagai mana cara nya saya untuk memasukan data program dan bisakah saya minta data untuk memprogram pingbot? makasih
<p>I'm not sure if there is a need really, although I have had a handful of students and teachers contact me looking to make their own versions for educational purposes.</p>
<p>ean man i wish i had one</p>
<p>I'm not sure if there is a need really, although I have had a handful of students and teachers contact me looking to make their own versions for educational purposes.</p>
<p>Its tremendous<br><br></p>
<p>'m not sure if there is a need really, although I have had a handful of students and teachers contact me looking to make their own versions for educational purposes.</p>
<p>I'm not sure if there is a need really, although I have had a handful of students and teachers contact me looking to make their own versions for educational purposes.</p>
<p>GOOD</p>
<p>I'm not sure if there is a need really, although I have had a handful of students and teachers contact me looking to make their own versions for educational purposes.</p>
<p>ean man i wish i had one</p>
<p>GOOD</p>
clean man i wish i had one
clean man i wish i had one
well
great
thanks for sharing
thanks for sharing
clean man i wish i had one
Thank you Jenson that's great to hear :D <br>The idea came from all over the place. For the look of the robot, the movie &quot;Batteries Not Included&quot; had a major influence.
Its cold
nice this post
interesting
good one
awesome
amazing
I'm not sure if there is a need really, although I have had a handful of students and teachers contact me looking to make their own versions for educational purposes
nice one
Thank you Jenson that's great to hear :D <br>The idea came from all over the place. For the look of the robot, the movie &quot;Batteries Not Included&quot; had a major influence.
interesting
I'm not sure if there is a need really, although I have had a handful of students and teachers contact me looking to make their own versions for educational purposes.
That's great one
good one
However, the kit bundle version should be available soon;
when suggesting scavenging from old appliances a picture of the component would be nice if only to save us some time.
that is so cool is this going to be on the market or is there even a need for this?
I'm not sure if there is a need really, although I have had a handful of students and teachers contact me looking to make their own versions for educational purposes. <br> <br>As for marketing, well, I'm learning about the process, but I'm certain that this will never be made into toy that your going to find at the store. However, the kit bundle version should be available soon; it has been submitted to Club Jameco and is making the final rounds now. <br> <br>Thanks for checking out the project, happy you liked it :)
yeah I thought it was neat
that looks AWESOME, Where did the idea come from?
Thank you Jenson that's great to hear :D <br>The idea came from all over the place. For the look of the robot, the movie &quot;Batteries Not Included&quot; had a major influence. As for the actual robot, I'd seen several of these little picaxe robots, such as the one by Mikey77 here on instructables, and wanted to make one of my own as a way to learn Picaxe and li-po battery charging.
These are great. Instead of remote control does anybody have ideas on how to make something like this autonomous so that it would move to a specified location or to a homing beacon?
Thanks Wrecks. <br>The first road I would try would be to add a sound sensor. Then you could set up 3 IR/Sound beacons in a room. The robot would receive a light and sound signal from the beacon and measure the time between the IR and audio to determine distance. After getting this info from all three beacons the bot could then triangulate its position. <br> <br>In theory anyway. I personally don't quite have the skills to tell you exactly how to do this, and I'm not sure if a PICaxe chip would be able to handle it. I bet an Arduino/Atmell would though. <br> <br>Another possibility would be to use a GPS sensor. It would be a little big to fit into a robot this size, but those sensors seem to get smaller everyday. <br> <br>Hope this helps and thanks again for the interest :D

About This Instructable

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Bio: When I was young I took all of my toys apart just to see inside. Eventually I learned how to put them back together.
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