A Robot for Swarming and Search & Rescue Ability

About: The BCAMRL is a Mechatronics Research Lab, founded in 2014 on the campus of Bergen County Academies a magnet high school within the Bergen County Technical School District . Students create innovations base...

Abstract:

The most important part of earthquake rescue is to find and locate the survivors who are buried under rubble and have no way of getting out. Our idea is to build and design a robot that would be able to be deployed in an earthquake disaster situation. The robot will be outfitted with 3D printed three-pronged wheels so that it can climb up rubble and maneuver through difficult terrain. The robot will also an aluminum deployment mechanism that will carry small robotic spiders that will deployed once the robot is in a disaster situation. The small robotic spiders will be controlled wirelessly and will be able to maneuver through small spaces and locate survivors.

Step 1: Problem

Earthquakes are one of the deadliest natural disasters in the world. Every year, over 10,000 people die from earthquakes. Earthquakes are caused by the shaking of the earth’s surface which are caused by the release of energy from the earth’s surface resulting in seismic waves. Much of the damage caused by earthquakes are a result of collapsing buildings. Earthquakes can also cause other disasters such as mudslides, fires, floods and tsunamis.

Step 2: Purpose

  • To enter an earthquake disaster situation and maneuver through the terrain
  • To find and locate the survivors of an earthquake so that rescue teams know where to find the survivors

Step 3: Background

  • Earthquakes are some of the deadliest natural disasters known to man
  • It is estimated that there are over 500,000 detectable earthquakes every year, and 100 of them cause damage (https://earthquake.usgs.gov/learn/facts.php)
  • An average of 50,000 people per year have died due to an earthquake over the last 16 years (https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/browse/stats.php)
  • In developed countries, the average earthquake caused $484 million dollars in damage (https://www.kansascityfed.org/publications/research/oke/articles/2016/economic-damage-large-earthquakes)

Step 4: Goals

  • Create a durable robot that can be controlled remotely and climb over rubble
  • Create a robot that can be deployed in an earthquake disaster situation and is able to release small robotic spiders that would be able to maneuver through small spaces and locate survivors

Step 5: Materials

  • Robot frame
    • Includes gear terrain and motors
  • 3D printed legs
  • Servos Aluminium
  • 2 Black storage boxes
  • Arduino Duemilanove
  • H-Bridge
  • Rubber on wheels
  • Plastic balls
  • PVC Pipe

Step 6: Procedure

  • Materials were provided by our school (Bergen County Academies), designed at BCA MRL, and purchased on Amazon.
  • Safety was ensured by an initial test and by my teacher, Mr. Nodarse, who oversaw every potentially dangerous processes.

Step 7: Methods

  • First create a drive base Included 2 motors and a gear terrain

  • Used instruction manual for GEARS-HMCGear Boxes (2)

  • Attach Gear Boxes with a metal plate

  • http://www.gearseds.com/heavy-metal-chassis.html

  • Then 3D print legs that are modeled in Autodesk Inventor

  • Next, attach storage compartments to the drive base

  • Next, work on a deployment mechanism

  • To make the deployment mechanism cut a thin sheet of aluminium into two equal pieces.

  • Then roll up the sheets into 2 equal cylinders.

  • Punch rivets the aluminium and secure the structure.

  • Next, attach the two cylinders in a 130 degree angle with rivets.

  • Once the deployment mechanism was done attach it to servos and mounted it on one of the storage compartment

  • After this, wire the electronics and create the code

  • Place all of electronics in one of the storage compartments on top Put in an arduino and an H-bridge and wired them together Attach a wireless bluetooth sensor

  • Then test code on the robot and see if it moves

  • Use the BLUcontrol app to move the robot

  • To hold up the deployment mechanism put some pvc pipe around the mechanism

  • Drill L-brackets to hold down the PVC pipe

  • Add a servo on top of the deployment mechanism that will open and close a polycarbonate piece

  • After program the servo to open and close the lid

  • Then record the servo values for turning the release mechanism and turning the lid

Step 8: Use

  • Deploy the robot in an earthquake disaster situation
  • Use bluetooth app to control the robot and deploy the small robotic spiders

Step 9: Challenges

  • Attaching the 3D printed legs to the axles of the robot
  • Getting the gear chains to stay in play
  • Building the aluminum deployment mechanism
  • Connecting the bluetooth sensor
  • Keeping wires organized and stable

Step 10: Reflection

Learned:

  • Engineering principles
  • We learned how to wire the arduino with motors, servos, and a bluetooth sensor.
  • We learned how to construct gear boxes and fix them when they broke

Step 11: RQ Servo and Motor Control Code

#include

Servo leftmotor;

Servo canon;

Servo swivel;

Servo swivelud;

Servo rightmotor;

String readString;

void setup() {

Serial.begin(9600);

leftmotor.attach(9);

rightmotor.attach(10);

canon.attach(11);

swivel.attach(5);

swivelud.attach(6); }

void loop() {

char c = Serial.read();

readString = c;

//********************************************************* //*********************FORWARD BOTH MOTORS*****************

if(readString.length() > 0){

Serial.println(readString);

if (readString == "U") {

leftmotor.write (160);

rightmotor.write(160);

}

//*********************************************************

}

//*********************************************************

//*********************BACKWARDS BOTH MOTORS***************

if(readString.length() >0){

Serial.println(readString);

if (readString == "D") {

leftmotor.write (40);

rightmotor.write(40);

}

//******************************************************

}

//*********************************************************

//*********************LEFT MOTOR MOTORS***************

if(readString.length() >0){

Serial.println(readString);

if (readString == "L") {

leftmotor.write (1800);

rightmotor.write(1100);

}

//*****************************************************

}

//*********************************************************

//*********************RIGHT MOTOR MOTORS***************

if(readString.length() >0){

Serial.println(readString);

if (readString == "R") {

rightmotor.write (1800);

leftmotor.write(1100);

}

//******************STOP MOTORS***********************************

}

if(readString.length() >0){

Serial.println(readString);

if (readString == "C") {

leftmotor.write(95);

rightmotor.write(95);

canon.write(0);

}

//*****************************************************

//*********************************************************

//*********************canon deployment open***************

if(readString.length() >0){

Serial.println(readString);

if (readString == "a") {

canon.write (100);

}

//*******************canon deployment closed*********************************

}

if(readString.length() >0){

Serial.println(readString);

if (readString == "e") {

canon.write (0);

}

//*****************************************************

//*********************swivel up***************

}

if(readString.length() >0){

Serial.println(readString);

if (readString == "b") {

swivelud.write (30);

}

//*****************************************************

//*********************swivel dn***************

}

if(readString.length() >0){

Serial.println(readString);

if (readString == "f") {

swivelud.write (0);

}

//*****************************************************

//*********************swivel middle***************

}

if(readString.length() >0){

Serial.println(readString);

if (readString == "h") {

swivelud.write (20);

}

//*****************************************************

//*********************swivel forward***************

}

if(readString.length() >0){

Serial.println(readString);

if (readString == "c") {

swivel.write (0);

}

//*****************************************************

//*********************swivel backwards***************

}

if(readString.length() >0){

Serial.println(readString);

if (readString == "g") {

swivel.write(180);

}

//*****************************************************

//*********************swivel right***************

}

if(readString.length() >0){

Serial.println(readString);

if (readString == "d") {

swivel.write (90);

}

delay(20);

}

}

}

Step 12: Sources

“How Much Economic Damage Do Large Earthquakes Cause?” Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, www.kansascityfed.org/publications/research/oke/articles/2016/economic-damage-large-earthquakes.

“Earthquake Statistics.” U.S. Geological Survey, https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/browse/stats.php

“Products.” Heavy Metal Chassis - HMC, HMC-Lite and H-MAC, www.gearseds.com/heavy-metal-chassis.html

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