Below is the parts list used in the testing robot seen in the media section. There are countless options available, and this list just represents one particular solution that has been known to work.
When choosing parts, be sure to carefully read the rules with an eye towards requirements and limits. For example, the robot should be able to climb and descend a 15 degree incline to finish the line-following track, which may affect the choice of motor, wheels, and gearbox. The tracks have specified minimum horizontal and vertical clearances, which will affect the mechanical design of your robot.
If you haven’t registered yet, hurry up and snag one of these discounted parts kits when you register!
Use this Arduino skeleton programs to get started:
Arduino skeleton program with motors, distance sensor, and reflectance sensors. (Note that this requires the PinChangeInterrupt library to be installed, via the Sketch > Include Library > Manage Libraries… dialog)
See a start-to-finish build log, including construction, wiring, and software. Rambotics Kit Build Log
Reference Parts List
Motors: (link) 12v 25:1 geared motors . These have tons of torque and can operate at a max of 200RPM.
Motor Controller: (link) Pololu Dual DC Motor Driver. Basic motor driver, capable of controlling 2 bidirectional DC motors at once.
Wheels and Tires: (link) 70mm Aluminum Wheel. These wheels can get the job done. Make sure to look for wheels with grippy silicon or rubber tires.
Nose Wheel: (link) Pololu Ball Caster with 1/2″ Metal Ball. Simple caster ball that can be used as a third wheel for your robot to allow for balance and ease of maneuverability.
Reflectance Sensor Array: (link) Pololu QTRX-HD-07A 7-element sensor array. Using a manufactured array instead of individual sensors makes it easy to have a large number of sensors with close spacing. This helps with detecting the line position accurately.
Battery Case Holder: (link) 8x 18650 Lithium battery holder. Just connect the holder to power and ground and your robot can be powered off 8 AA batteries. Compact and easy to use if you don’t already have a LiPo battery on hand.
Controller: (link) Arduino Mega 2560. Arduino is the easiest way to get started, but students that have taken Microprocessor Programming courses may want to jump to more powerful boards like the STM32 Discovery series.
Distance Sensor: (link) Ultrasonic sensor measuring distance. Measures object distance from the module which can be used for object detection and avoidance. Range goes from 2cm to 400cm with an accuracy of ± 3mm.
Gear Motor Bracket: (link) Aluminum alloy gear motor bracket. Comes in packs of two, one for each motor used. These can be used to easily mount your motors onto your robot chassis securely.
Options for Students
Although contestants are generally on the hook for the cost of their robot, generous donations from private donors and the VCU SGA have made it possible for us to provide discounted parts kits.
Discounted Parts Kit. IEEE is excited to offer the Reference Parts listed above to students at a substantial discount. While supplies last, kits can be purchased at registration for $25 – a substantial discount over the normal parts cost. The best part? These are yours to keep.