The Amazing Line-Following Robot Brothers

Here at Digilent, we believe that makers are learners! This means that we want people to take our stuff, and make something new from it. One great example is what this blog post is about– the line-following robots! One of our community members made an alternate, 3D-printable design for our base plate!

3D printable baseplates
3D-printable base plates.

This is what the printed base plates look like. We wanted to show how you can use community content with our products. Today we’re going to build the MRK line-following robot and the SRK line-following robot! Before getting started on a project, always make sure you have a good work space!

My workspace: the "Awesome Project 'z'pot"
My ‘Awesome Project Zpot’ work space.

 

The first robot we’re going to build is the MRK Robot, who uses the motor/gearbox and the chipKIT Pro MX4. Here’s the parts we need for MRK:

Line-Following Motor Robot Kit Pieces
Line-Following Motor Robot Kit pieces.

There are directions online that we can follow to create the MRK Robot, but since we have a different base plate, we’re gonna change some things around. Below are several different images showing the iterations I went through on the bottom side (from left to right).
botprogress

This looks pretty cramped, but let’s check out everything that is here. We have:

 

  • 2 motors/gearboxes and associated mounts
  • 2 PmodHB5
  • 4 IROS Sensors
  • PmodLS1
  • Drag Button
  • A lot of cables

 

This is a lot of stuff to put in (about) a 6×7″ space. But there’s a payoff for this. Here’s what the top side of the MRK Robot looks like:

Top-side

With all the Pmods and wiring on the bottom, we can have just the chipKIT displayed on top, and this looks pretty sweet.

 

That’s the MRK robot constructed, but what about the SRK robot? Well we built that one too. While the MRK uses the motor/gearbox and the chipKIT Pro MX4, the SRK uses the servo motor and the chipKIT MX3.

IMG_0406

Using what I learned from building the MRK Robot, I planned which parts were absolutely not going to move, and then go from there. For the SRK, the mounts and the drag button are the only pieces that have specific places, so everything else is up for changing.

IMG_0409

This is the final configuration of the bottom side of the SRK bot. The biggest pro of having the bottom have all of this is that top side has the minimal amount of wiring possible (purely for aesthetic reasons). Here is the top side:
IMG_0411
As you can see, only the chipKIT MX3 and the PmodBTN are on the top. Here are the two of them together:
IMG_0415

These robots should be fully functional hardware-wise! We’ll go over the line-following software in a later blog post.

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I love Coding!

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