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  • We were asked to create a robot that tracks a black line on a white surface. We decided we wanted to use omniwheels so our robot could be more maneuverable.

     

    Here is an example from the Reaction Shelter project:

    The Problem: Over 300 natural disasters occur globally every year, displacing 32.5 million people on average.Domestically, 99 federal disaster declarations were on file with FEMA in 2011.
    The Solution: The Reaction Housing System is a rapid response, short-term housing solution.
    Detailed Solution: The core sustem components flat pack to provide extremeley efficient storage and transportation. The systems can be deployed within hours of an event without the need for tools or heavy machinery.

    2. Further Ellaboration:

    Main Story or Theme: describe in further detail the reason for your project and the overall way you are solving that problem
    Mechanics: Describe how your project works and what it is doing
    Development: Briefly explain the progression of your project
    Challenges: Describe technical and design challenges you faced or are still facing. 

    3. Iterations

    Each iteration should have a paragraph describing how you how you modified the project after receiving feedback.

    Here is an example from the Backcountry IV Project:

    In our second iteration, we redesigned the cylinder so that it actually had two compartments that would screw together. Though there were two compartments, there would be a small piece in between the two that would screw them together, so that they remained the same diameter and size. We designed the piece to fit exactly between the two compartments so that it wouldn’t be visible when the entire piece was together. The part had triangular shaped spaces cutting through it where the IV tube and wires for the technology side of our studio fit. In the upper cylinder, the holes remained for the UV lights, but there was more space underneath for the Arduino. In the bottom compartment, we created a hole in the middle designed to fit the IV reservoir and tubing, and small spaces directly next to the reservoir where the resistors to warm the reservoir sat. This spacing for the pieces worked well, except that the entire reservoir piece took up too much room, so much that all of the compartments didn’t screw together. Underneath the inner part designed to hold the reservoir and resistors, there was room underneath to hold the arm cuff and the excess tubing. We also designed two caps to close together the whole piece. Except for the fact that it was a bit sharp and there some minor fitting issues, the caps worked well and made the entire piece compact and portable. For the next iteration, which was the final one, we made a few critical changes.

  • 1. Design Problem and Solution:

    Plants need an optimum amount of light to grow fully, but with the sun moving across the sky, it's very hard for a plant to always stay in the sun.

    Our solution is a robot which uses phototransistors to measure where has the most light and follows the sun throughtout the day as to provide optimal amount of light for the plants to grow their maximum. It has a hexagonal shape with the sensors at the top as to be able to tell and because of it's design, it can hold multiple plants, and it can be programmed to provide different levels of light for each side.

    2. Further Ellaboration:

    Main Story or Theme: describe in further detail the reason for your project and the overall way you are solving that problem
    Mechanics: Describe how your project works and what it is doing
    Development: Briefly explain the progression of your project
    Challenges: Describe technical and design challenges you faced or are still facing. 

    3. Iterations

    Each iteration should have a paragraph describing how you how you modified the project after receiving feedback.

    Here is an example from the Backcountry IV Project:

    In our second iteration, we redesigned the cylinder so that it actually had two compartments that would screw together. Though there were two compartments, there would be a small piece in between the two that would screw them together, so that they remained the same diameter and size. We designed the piece to fit exactly between the two compartments so that it wouldn’t be visible when the entire piece was together. The part had triangular shaped spaces cutting through it where the IV tube and wires for the technology side of our studio fit. In the upper cylinder, the holes remained for the UV lights, but there was more space underneath for the Arduino. In the bottom compartment, we created a hole in the middle designed to fit the IV reservoir and tubing, and small spaces directly next to the reservoir where the resistors to warm the reservoir sat. This spacing for the pieces worked well, except that the entire reservoir piece took up too much room, so much that all of the compartments didn’t screw together. Underneath the inner part designed to hold the reservoir and resistors, there was room underneath to hold the arm cuff and the excess tubing. We also designed two caps to close together the whole piece. Except for the fact that it was a bit sharp and there some minor fitting issues, the caps worked well and made the entire piece compact and portable. For the next iteration, which was the final one, we made a few critical changes.

  • The Fruit is a robot that sets out to solve the problem of finding adequate housing and lighting for indoor house plants. In many houses plants do not have enough light, and they do not get even light on all sides, so their growth is stunted and uneven. The Fruit solves this problem by traveling over a given course of acceptable “parking areas” to measure for light brightness, and then parking in the area with the brightest light. It then slowly rotates for the duration of the plant’s life span to ensure even growth on all sides. 

    We wanted to create The Fruit to optimize plant growth with personal robots, since this is an emerging technology with increased accessibility. It is becoming cheaper and easier than ever before to access and build these robots, so they seemed like the perfect way to address this common household problem. 

    The Fruit got its name from its two main components: the rind and the core. The rind is the superficial outer layer. It houses the plant and covers the electronics, and is mounted on a gear that turns continuously at all times to provide even light for the plant. It has two sub-components: the pot, and the windows. The pot is mounted on the rind and contains the plant, while the windows are small acrylic areas embedded in the top of the rind that let light through to the phototransistors for measurement.

    The inner layer is called the core. The core contains motors, electronics, and phototransistors. This layer has a base with laser cut holes to house the arduino, phototransistors, and wheels so they fit perfectly. Above them is the battery pack, motors, and gears. There are two arrays of phototransistors: one facing downwards to track the line so the robot can stay on course, and one facing upwards to sense lighting conditions.

    We started out with the idea to have the robot not have a front, but rather a circular array of phototransistors so that it could align itself irrespective of the orientation. This ended up needing far more phototransistors than we would otherwise need, so we scrapped this idea for the next iteration. The next iteration took a more traditional approach of having a front in order to only need 5 or fewer phototransistors, but then we needed to figure out a way to make the plant spin. This is when the idea of the rind and the core came into play. The first iteration of the rind was made up of many stacking wood pieces which made it very unstable, so we switched to flexible wood. This made it more stable and more aesthetically appealing. Once this problem was solved we moved onto decisions about materials, deciding what to make the planting pot out of. The first iteration made out of plastic was not very smooth, and had sharp edges, so the next iteration was made out of 3D printed wood filament that we could sand.

    When we set to focus on the electronics we found that it took more effort than we anticipated, so we ended up using only one phototransistor on the bottom instead of an array, and put the phototransistors on the top on hold for now. The current setup works for line tracking, but is slightly jerkier than it would be if we had used in array. In future iterations we would use more phototransistors and finish the top part to take in the lighting of the room.

  • The Eye-Robot is meant to be a robotic plant holder that directs itself towards light so that the plant can get optimal sunlight throughout the day. 

  • Problem: To make an autonomous robot that has line-following capabilities, and goes to the spot along the line with the most light. 

    Solution: An eye inspired tank-drive autonomous robotic plant holder that follows a black line on the ground. The eye tank uses two motors connected to a motor shield that is programmed with a PID controller to follow a black line. The purpose is to get the plant to recieve as much sunlight as possible throughout the day. 

     

    Iteration One: The first iteration was a to have the robot be in the shape of an eye and to have threads as the wheels with two motors attached. Our first step was a base with two slits cut in the center and separate pieces that stuck into the base and held screws into place that would be attached to the tank tread wheels. When we did more research into actual tank treads, they seemed too expensive to be just a design asthetic, so we chose to use wheels with gears instead. The gears we designed had three identical large gears and two small gears. It was important to have an odd number of gears so that three wheels could be attached that would move in the same direction. When we first cut out our gears the dimensions were not perfect and therefore the gears did not mesh correctly.

    Iteration Two: Our second iteration included recutting a base that instead of having many pieces that held the bolts that held the gears into place, it would have the same number of slots, but have all the gear holders connects for better stability and more precision for when we would recut the gears. When we assembled this with the gears and wheels it turned out that the lock nuts would not be able to hold the gears into place because the wheels had large holes in them. Also, the smaller gears were so small that they kept breaking and also could not be held into place well. 

    Iteration Three: In our third iteration we decided to make all the gears the same size and have the same sized wheels. We decided to do this because it would allow us to keep our second base in tact and only change the wheels and gears instead of the entire design. This gear and wheel design worked and is part of our final design.

    Iteration Four: In our fourth iteration we designed a box that fits over the arduino, motor shield, and battery pack. We also added an C shaped piece of wood to the top of the box to prevent it from falling off the box. We also added a switch at the bottom of the base that is connected to the battery pack and turns the robot on and off. When we were testing the light values for the PID controller we realized that the initial phototransistor that we put on had too high a resistance and was only reading values from 0-5 compared to 0-1000. We replaced the phototransistor and decided to thread those wires through one of the sides of the box. For the outer shell we decided to create an eye-like structure that includes four pieces of wood that secure into place four curves ribs that all connect to a circle that will hold a plant. 

     

    Motor Shield Circuitry: A motor shield controls the two motors of our design. The reason we need a motor shield is because the adruino can only power 5V and the motors we want to run need 12V. The motor shield consists of two H-bridges. Each H-bridge contains four transistors which are basically small switches the attact and detach wires together and therefore control the electrical flow of the battery. In addition to that, the H bridge allows each motor two move both forward and in reverse. This allows the robot to turn faster.

    PID Controller: The PID stands for proportional, integral, derivative. The way the controller works is that it is connected to a light sensor. The light sensor takes in light values. In our program we test what the light values are of the black line to a white piece of paper. We set a goal for what we want the light sensor to be constantly reading to the median light value of the black line and white paper. When the light sensor reads a value that isn't the target value it counts it as an error. The proportional piece takes the error value and sets that to the speed of one of the motors so that the robot turns. The integral adds all the errors up so that the speed is equivalent to that sum of errors instead of just one. This allows the controller to account for small errors. The derivative acts as a stabilizer for the motor it predicts future errors by assuming that the future error is equivalent to the previous error. The PID controller is a good controller compared to a P controller because it helps the robot be more precise and not oscillate so much. 

     

     

     

     

  • We were tasked wtih creating a line-following robot that senses light along the line.The idea was to have the robot guide a plant along the line so that it would always have optimal sun conditions. We decided to make a circular robot. In the interest of having as few motors as possible, we decided to make it have only one driving wheel and a servo that would turn it.

    Our robot has a wheel and motor in the center that are connected to a disk which spins freely from a servo.  To save space we have the motor right alongside the wheel, the wheel has a gear cut into it which attaches to the motor. The servo connects it to an outer circle which has other wheels for stabilization. Originally the outer wheels were casters which spun in all directions. We changed these to more traditional wheels.  The center wheel is much bigger then the outer wheels so we had to put spacers under them to make them the same.

    In the first iteration we had casters on the outer disk. This allowed for a much smoother ride. The casters could move in all directions, unfortunately this was a problem. Since the casters were easier to spin then the center wheel the servo ended up spinning the outer disk around the inner one, instead of the other way around. We decided to change the casters to 3D printed wheels. These were much harder to turn side to side, so we stopped having the servo problem. This made our robot move significantly slower though, because not all the wheels could be facing the right way all the time.