Sunday, November 9, 2014

Mini Cart / Build Madison

Build Madison is almost over, so I get to sleep soon. I found a helper for the mini cart project, a design which will also be part of the MOARbots framework. The mini cart has immediate appeal--it can use cheaper motors and batteries, and more can fit in the arena for large multi-robot events.

Here is the mini cart alongside the regular cart.

The mini cart motors were pulled from a misc. motors bin, so they aren't exactly the same. Also, one
of them had been previously used and wasn't in good condition, so this prototype really only can turn one wheel on. The point however was to prove that it is possible to use el-cheapo small toy motors, with 3d printed gears, to move a cart.

I spent most of my time though working on an omni wheel design. I found some tackier heat shrink in large diameters that works very well for tires. Other than the tires and axles (small finishing nails), everything else is 3d printed. The triangular shape allows for two halves to fit together snugly to form the final wheel assembly. This design has very little room for error, which especially problematic given the variance on prints. A redesign should be coming soon.

One more thing: the MOARbots project has a wiki now. It is minimally populated but it will be growing A LOT especially as I get ready for a set of UW students who will be working on this project for independent study credits. I'll link it often in the future as well.

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