The R2 Project Part 2

Blogpost from Luke Laurie’s Teacherblog:

Last time, I talked about how I was building the drivetrain for the remote controlled R2. Click here for Part 1.

It’s really important to me that this robot is mobile, and able to drive on smooth ground or carpet, while also being able to overcome bumps and dips. Being able to turn smoothly is extremely important.

At first, I had a wheel base of two wheels in the rear two legs providing the mobility, and a single immobile wheel that could roll or slide on a turn. The sliding worked acceptably on smooth surfaces, but just couldn’t cut it on the rug.

So, I researched Omniwheels. I found some very cool robots people have built out of LEGOs using omniwheels, and some omniwheels that you can even buy. (I can’t vouch for any of these wheels or the vendor) I love that the internet is full of people’s cool technology projects.

I found a fairly simple Omniwheel design out there somewhere, and attempted several modifications, but in the end, I settled on the design below. This wheel seems pretty effective at allowing R2 to drive forward and backward in a fairly straight line without too many bumps, while also turning pretty smoothly. For now, this is what I’ll use, but I may consider other options.


Sumo Robots

Since 2000, I’ve been building Sumo robots and teaching students to do the same, primarily with LEGO’s as part of the RoboChallenge program. In RoboChallenge, we’ve had several competitions with Sumo robots from many schools in the California Central Coast region. I have a new tutorial web page with tips and guidance for builders, and a video of some recent Sumo robots, especially Sumo Robots using LEGO Mindstorms NXT. This page is a work in progress, and will continue to see additions and revisions, but still has much to offer people interested in getting started with Robotic Sumo.

Sumo Tutorial Page

Video from my Robotics Science Class Fall, 2008 (youtube)