Hi, My name is Zachary, and I am a rising sophomore at SAR High School. I came to Bluestamp because I wanted to foster a greater interest in engineering. In the past, I have done basic experiments with Solar Panels and learned about basic electronics and coding. My starter project is a Theremin, which is a motion activated musical instrument. My main intensive project is an omnidirectional robot.
Main Project: Omni-Directional robot.
After six full weeks at Bluestamp Engineering, I have gained a great wealth of knowledge while having a tremendous amount of fun. I came to Bluestamp with nothing more than a little programming experience and some basic electrical knowledge. I now feel like I have much more experience. I am proud to have made a semi-autonomous robot with a visual and sound system. I can even move the robot using the sensors, which was something I had not planned for.
Final Project – OmniDirectional Robot:
Picture of the Completed Robot
After building the basic frame and coding the robot to move, I began to add many features. I added a wifi camera which livestreams directly to my phone. This way I am able to see my robot in real time. I can also take videos and pictures to save for later. I also installed a walkie talkie onto the robot. The wallkie talkie has a servo glued to it to press the button so I can hear what happens around the robot. I can also speak into the paired walkie talkie and communicate with people and objects around the robot. Finally I added a sensor system to prevent crashing. The sensors send sound waves out and receives the reflected waves. It sends the arduino the amount of time it took for the sound waves to ping, and converts that to a distance. The robot then moves in the opposite direction of the robot as to avoid it. I am now able to move my robot my manipulating the sensors. Finally, I have added a button switch to turn the motors on and off more easily than unplugging the battery each time.
I encountered some problems soldering the sensors, but I was eventually able to do it correctly. I also encountered some wiring issues but I was able to rewire my project neatly. I also ran out of pins on my arduino board, but I got an arduino mega to get those additional pins. Finally, the servo on the walkie talkie proved difficult to mount, but with the help of tac and hot glue, I was able to mount it correctly.
I would like to thank my wonderful instructors for helping me complete the robot. I would also like to thank Rain for her excellent documentation which I took advantage of.
Schematic download: Omnibotschem
CAD Drawing of robot:
The CAD drawing for my robot, the 3D design, made with Onshape.
Code for the Servos, Walkie Talkies, and sensors.
Second Milestone: Physical structure of Robot with working code.
The Platform of the Robot is a regular hexagon with sides of four inches. The platform itself is one eighth of an inch thick. It is very light but is strong enough to support the servos and other parts. The Arduino board is powered by a portable USB charger, and the servos are super-glued to the bottom of the wood. There is potential to add a second layer of wood on top in order to carry a camera, microphone, and potential speakers.
I encountered a major problem with the connectivity of the receiver to the Arduino. After doing diagnostics for many hours, I discovered that it was a combination of problems with power, the code, and wiring. After fixing these problems, and writing the code, I was able to control my robot.
Potential additions, in addition to a sound system and camera, include adding LEDs, a second layer, and a bar where an iPad could be mounted.
Picture of robot with Camera but without Sensors and Walkie Talkie installed.
First Milestone: Spinning Servos using a PS2 controller
Today I reached my first milestone, which was being able to use the PS2 controller to spin the three Servo motors. I connected the wireless receiver to the Arduino with specific wires in specific pins, which I then programmed to receive signal from the wireless receiver. The Arduino, through its digital output pins, sends signals to the motor controllers which allow the Servo motors to spin. I programmed each button to spin one motor and a fourth button to spin all the motors.
Some Challenges that I encountered while reaching this milestone were learning the syntax of the Arduino language, and having the controller stay connected to the Arduino. I read documentation from different places to learn the syntax and I manipulated the controller to remain connected to the Arduino.
My next step is to build the physical structure of the robot. I will figure out the proper dimensions and the material with which my robot will be built.
Starter Project: Mini Theremin
The Theremin has an antenna, which can detect the electrical field around it, and thus it can detect motion within that electrical field. This creates a direct current that enters the board, and then the ic 555 chip. This chip converts the DC current into AC current, which is able to create and electromagnetic field. This AC current creates that field in the Pienzo speaker, which is made of two disks that require a magnetic field to make noise. The other chip, the 12C508, controls the LED lights that light up as the notes sound, and the different modes. The two modes are continuous and discrete. When turned on, this theremin is in continuous mode, which makes more continuous sounds. When the two buttons are pressed simultaneously, it is switched to discrete mode. When in discrete mode, the buttons can raise or lower the key. The resistors control the amount of electricity going to each part of the circuit. The capacitors store electricity that is used when needed. The regulator also controls how much electricity goes to each part of the circuit. The 9V battery, of which 5V is used, supplies power to the LEDs, the speaker, and the chips.