- Arduino-based (for ease of programming and so you can use your knowledge to build other things)
- Two drive wheels and an omni-wheel for forward/backward/steering
- IR line detector sensors (allows following a line on the floor)
- IR collision avoidance sensors (allows detecting and avoiding nearby obstacles like walls)
- Ultrasonic range finder mounted on a servo motor (for more advanced distance detection and mapping)
- Hopefully some other handy things like push buttons, LEDs, an LCD, and a mini breadboard to make hacking easier.
- Plenty of room to add additional sensors, remote control, etc.
- Total cost < $100
- Assemble kits and install pre-written software. Have a working autonomous robot that drives around randomly, attempting to avoid obstacles.
- Intro to programming. Write simple code to run the motors. Write a routine that accepts 'W', 'A', 'S', 'D' commands from the computer over serial to make a simple RC car.
- Make a line follower. Read from the IR line detectors and write a simple algorithm to drive the motors so that it follows a line.
- Make a collision avoidance bot, like that from session 1. Use the collision avoidance sensors and the ultrasonic range finder and make an algorithm to detect obstacles and steer away from them.
- Make a sumo bot. Use IR line detectors to avoid leaving ring. Use ultrasonic range finder and collision detectors to find and attack opponent. Write a routine to turn the servo back and forth, scanning for the opponent.
- Sumo contest. Modify your algorithm and code and try to outsmart your opponent. We'll all be using the same hardware, so we'll be on a level playing field. Make your modifications at home and we'll have a tournament at the hackerspace.
If you are interested, please let me know here. Also let me know if there are specific projects you'd eventually like to do with your bot and I'll do my best to see if the robot could be used for that.
I'm going to order the first one myself, build it, figure out what needs to be done to get it working, and once I have parts and a plan, I'll organize the group build and workshop.
So, if you want your own cheap robot platform on which to learn and hack, let me know and I'll get things started.