This is an easy to make mobile robot base.  It uses a Nano-ITX computer board, but a Mini-ITX could be used, as well as one of the single board computers like the Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone, or even an Arduino.

The design of this robot was intended to remove the issues with a stack type robot.  In this design, you can access all the parts without removing layers.  Also, the handle on top with power switches is a key feature for any mobile robot since they tend to run away on you. :-)  The "Bucket Bot" name comes from the easy transportation method - it fits right in a 5 gallon bucket!

This robot has simple and low cost construction using plywood and simple home store fasteners and hardware.  A newer one using metal and newer components is being developed and will be posted in a few months.

Step 1: Motors and Wheels

The wheels and motor mounts for the Bucket Bot are homemade, and were created before these kinds of parts were more widely available.  The next rev of this project will probably use off the shelf parts for this.  The following approach worked well, though, and could save some money.

The motors came from Jameco, but they are available in many places like Lynxmotion now too.  It uses 12v DC brushed motors, around 200rpm, but you can choose a voltage/speed/power combination to suit your application.

The motor mounting brackets are made from angle aluminum - getting those three motor mount holes lined up was the trickiest part.  A cardboard template is useful for that.  The aluminum angle was 2"x2", and was cut to 2" wide.  These were built for a different robot, but for this one the wheels are under the platform, so they need a 1/8" spacer (made from plastic that was around).

The tires are Dubro R/C airplane wheels, and the center part was drilled out to use a big old 3/4" tap to thread that hole.

Next, use a 3/4" bolt, and drill a hole for the shaft along the length of the bolt from the head in. Getting that straight and centered is key.  The higher grade bolts have marks on the head that help find the center, and a drill press was used to make that hole. On the side, a hole was drilled for the set screw.  It was tapped with something like a #6 size tap.

Then, you screw the bolt into the wheel and mark where the bolt sticks out the other side of the wheel, remove it, and cut off the bolt with a Dremel tool to remove the excess. The bolt then fits in the wheel, and the set screw holds it on the motor shaft.  The friction of the wheel on the big bolt was enough to keep it from slipping.
Carl, you've done it again!

About This Instructable




Bio: A Maker since childhood with all the classic symptoms, a robot builder, and an Internet software CTO by day.
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