RC Robot Tank
Area Of Interest
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Monta Vista High School
My final milestone was to fully assemble my robot. First, I connected the wireless adaptor to my Arduino. Then, I had to understand how to test my PS2 controller so that I knew the motors were turning. After, I made my PS2 Controller turn my motors and move my robot left, right, forward, and backward. For this step I used some test code which wasn’t fully functional. The final step was uploading the proper code to my Arduino to make the entire robot work the way I wanted it too. A big problem I faced was not being able to get my first motor to work. The problem with it was, the area where the motor connected to the Arduino was not working. So anytime I tried using that motor in my code, it would not be recognized. The fix to this problem was a lot of trial and error because it was hard to locate the problem. I ended up changing the wires that connected to my first motor to the location of the third motor. This allowed my code to recognize the motor and move my RC Robot Tank.
My second milestone was getting the motors to turn using the Arduino Uno circuit board and to use an external power source to run my motors. First, I soldered wires that connected the motors to the Arduino shield. Then, I inputed code into the Arduino that could make the motors move. I used example code from Adafruit to test my motors. After, I mounted the Arduino onto my tank using screws and spacers. Finally, I connected my external power source to my Motor Shield by soldering some wires. A big problem I faced was soldering my wires onto my motors. The part which I had to solder the wires onto kept breaking off, and I only had a tiny bit of material left to solder to. This took a lot of time but I was able to persevere through it and got it done.
The first milestone of my main project, the RC Robot Tank, is building the chassis of my tank robot. The chassis is the base of the tank, and I built it with three parts. The Track and Wheel Set included the wheels, shafts, and the tank treads. The Twin-Motor Gearbox connects the wheels to the motors. Finally, the gearbox was mounted to the universal plate. Some of my struggles included assembling the gearbox because it included many small parts. The gears kept falling out and things were going very slowly. I then realized following instructions is important and I was able to complete the process smoothly. Also, it took me a while to attach the gearbox to the universal plate because I was using the wrong screw, and I didn’t cut out a part that I needed to cut out.
For my starter project, I made the TV-B-Gone. This gadget can turn off any TV it is pointed at. It turns on through the use of a button connected to the reset pin of a micro controller. The micro-controller sends an electric current to the infrared LEDs, but since the micro-controller can send 20-40 mA of current and the IR LEDs require 100 mA, the PNP and NPN transistors are used to amplify the electric current. The resistors limit the current flowing through the circuit by restricting the flow of electron. The excess voltage is stored in the capacitors. The infrared LEDs emit pulses of light that are used in TV remotes to turn off TVs. The gadget is powered by two AA batteries. The TV-B-Gone is an amazing gadget which can turn off practically any TV in North America by connecting to an online database for all the KHz TV frequencies. A problem I faced when making the TV-B-Gone was soldering. At first, soldering was a big problem for me because I wasn’t able to get the solder to melt. Also, my solders would fuse together on the circuit board which stopped the TV-B-Gone from turning on. This was when I decided to get help and was able to learn how to solder much more easily. Overall, the entire design process of the TV-B-Gone was a great learning experience and I was able to use what I learned in a challenging and fun way.