In early 2012, I decided that I wanted to build a robot and start learning about the Arduino and Raspberry Pi boards, which I had been reading about. I also thought that it would be something that my children would enjoy. I then got a bit carried away when I stumbled across a web site called Project Dalek and discovered that people all over the world were building full size Daleks in their garages. I was so impressed that I decided to have a go at building a small (one fifth scale) Dalek to use as the basis for a simple obstacle avoiding robot (later I also built a full size Dalek).
This was the end result.
This project used the following electronics parts:
- Arduino Mega 2560 (an Arduino Uno would have been fine too)
- 3 x MaxBotix EZ1 Ultra Sonic Sensor
- 1 x VNH2SP30 Motor Driver Carrier MD03A (from pololu.com)
- 2 x 34:1 Metal Gearmotor 25Dx52L mm HP (from pololu.com)
The ultra sonic sensors are mounted in the front center and front left and right (at an approximately 45 degree angle to the front due to the shape of the Dalek). This handles detection of obstacles that are directly ahead as well as detecting when walls are close to the left or right.
The input from the ultra sonic sensors directly controls the speed and direction of the two motors. The movement is a little manic and never stops. A future improvement will be to add some pauses and maybe add some sound effects.