I am very interested in robotics, especially in developing of AI algorithms. I build my own small autonomous robot to test how some AI algorithms work in the real word. I like electronics too, so the hardware realization of my robot is also a subject of my experiments.

Main components

As I currently have no access to a workshop, nor have a garage I decided to build this robot using pre-fabricated non-expensive components. The most important components are listed below Most (but not all) of that stuff I bought from robotshop.com and pololu.com.

Building Robot

  1. Capacitor Filters

    Capacitors soldered to the motor. Without such RC filter this cheap brushed motor creates so much electric noise that microcontroller goes mad (especially hardware interrupts are affected).

  2. Lower deck completed

    Motors, wheel encoders, bumper switches, and a battery case installed.

    Lower deck completed
  3. Wheel encoder - close-up view Wheel encoders
  4. Robot brain "Made in Italy"

    An Arduino board and a solderless breadboard installed on a SparkFun's Holder. I made additional holes in the holder for fastening it to the robot's upper deck. I also made a hole in a small plastic pole in the lower right of the holder's Arduino slot for fastening Arduino board with a small screw (visible just above the Arduino's DC power jack).

    Robot brain
  5. Upper deck

    before installation of microcontroller board. M3x10 hexagonal standoffs (4 brass hexagonal poles) turned out to be ideal for installation of the SparkFun's Holder - they fit into grooves on the underside of the holder board holding it parallel to the robot's deck. 2 Photocells, a Pan and Tilt kit, an IR receiver, and a power switch are installed at the front of the platform.

    Upperdeck without MCU
  6. Controller board installed

    Arduino board, Adafruit Motor shield, and solderless breadboard as a single unit attached to the robot. On top of the main battery holder sits another holder (attached with violet rubber bands) for 9V battery providing Arduino with power.

    Controller board intstalled
  7. Motor shield

    Adafruit Motor shield on top of the Arduino board.

    Adafruit Motor shield
  8. Front sensors

    Sensors at the front: IR receiver, Ultrasonic Range Finder (on top of the Pan and Tilt kit), Photocells, IR proximity sensor, Bumper switches

    Front Sensors
  9. Assembled robot: side view

    Sensors wired to the MCU, only whiskers are missing

    Almost ready to go
  10. Ready to go Ready to go