My name is Collins, and I am a rising junior at Newark Collegiate Academy. For my starter project, I built a robotic voice changer, and for my main project I built an omnidirectional robot. The common robotic related factors these projects possess was a driving force in my choosing of these projects. My decision to choose and build these projects was triggered by my fascination with robots and my curiosity to understand how they work and operate. Both projects were challenging at various stages of the build process; however with the application of engineering ethics which I learned, intensive research and some collective collaboration and aid from peers and instructors, I was able to overcome the challenges I faced. Before I became part of the Bluestamp program, I had very limited prior hands on experience with engineering, and I was uncertain of what it actually meant to be a thinker, innovator and problem solver. After this Bluestamp experience, I gained exposure to the innovative and problem solving qualities of engineering. I am definitely certain that I want to further my studies in engineering as I pursue my college and career goals. Also, through the Bluestamp program, I have forged strong networks with fellow young engineers and professionals in the field. The Bluestamp program has helped me develop my problem solving skills, expand my thoughts, and instilled in me positive educational and life values. I am very fortunate and proud to have been a part of this great experience.
Main Project – Omnidirectional Robot
I finalized the build of my omnidirectional robot with the inclusion of a switch and a chain of LED modifications. I made a switch for my robot in order to improve on its efficiency and durability. The switch will enable me turn on or off my robot whenever instead of plugging and unplugging wires which might negatively affect my circuit. I added the LED modification with an aim to make my robot more appealing to the eyes. Adding these modifications to my robot was challenging because I tempered with my main omidirectional circuit. Then, I had to rebuild it from scratch, including in it the switch and LEDs. At the end of all that, I am extremely proud of the six week project that stands before me, a fully functional LED lighting omnidirectional robot.
I just completed the basic structure build of my omnidirectional robot. This milestone was primarily centered on the mechanics of my robot project. Since after completing my coding and getting my wheels to work with my controllers, I have spent the last weeks assembling the hardware parts of my robot. For my build, I used a 1/2 inch ply wood for the chassis of my robot on which my wiring and connections rest. I also cut out wood to attach for the top base. I cut out the chassis and top base to the shape of an equilateral triangle, with each side measuring 11.5 inches. I attached my omni wheels at the three corners of the triangle and separated them 120 degrees from each other in order to achieve an omnidirectional motion. The most challenging aspects of the mechanical stage of my project was measuring the exact angles of my triangular boards to ensure a perfect omnidirectional motion. Also, in the course of assembling my hardware, I sometimes tempered with my circuit connections, which affected the proper functioning of my robot. I am so excited to have completed my second milestone and achieved my omnidirectional robotic structure.
It is my third week here at BlueStamp. I recently began my main project, the omnidirectional robot and today marked the completion of my first milestone. After days of much effort and hard work I finally succeeded in coding my arduino, for my robot. and programmed it to function with the PS2 controller. I used a 7.4V battery to power all three servos. My arduino board is powered by a 9 v battery. When I move the analog stick it sends a signal to the receiver which receives the signal and transmits the signal to the arduino. The arduino interprets the signal and sends the output as commands to the motor controllers which Writing the code was very frustrating as I faced several challenges. I had to do a series of checks to understand the cause of my flaws. I realized that my code was inactive because I started off with the wrong code format. Also, I sometimes omitted certain characters from my commands, which made it impossible for me to upload my code. When I edited my code and my revised my commands, my PS2 controller finally functioned effectively as expected with the servos. Below is a link to my schematic.
My robotic voice changer includes components such as the switch, the LEDs, capacitors, resistors, the microphone, the vertical trimmer, and the horizontal trimmer, the push buttons, the IC chips LM386 and HT8950. When the switch is turned on, the LEDs light up. The capacitors function to store electrical charges and work with the resistors as filters. Humans have a certain voice frequency range. When one speaks into the microphone, the IC chip HT8950 shifts the frequency of the input voice producing a dramatic output. The HT8950 has two special effects, the vibrato effect which is generated by alternating the frequency of an input voice up and down at a rate of 8Hz and the robot effect which converts the input voice into a robotic voice. The different effects can be activated when the vibrato, high pitch, low pitch or robot buttons are pushed, activating the pins. The LM386 is an audio power amplifier used in low voltage devices, and so functions with the 9V powered voice changer. I had certain difficulties with my starter project as I messed up sometimes with my soldering and I had to desolder and make wire jumps and it was annoying, but my success was very exciting. I learnt from my starter project, especially to be careful with my soldering and I look forward to the bigger challenge, my omnidirectional robot for my main project.