MicroBot

After I had success with my challenge to build a 1″x1″x1″ NanoBot, I wanted to try my luck at something a little larger. MicroBot measures approx 2″x2″x1.5″ and uses the same Atmel microcontroller and battery (see N anoBot details). The body was custom made from a larger piece of 4mm white PVC. MicroBot gets its’ senses from 3 front mounted ProxDots (IR units) and a bottom mounted IR unit (for line following). This gives MicroBot the ability to detect left, center and right objects and to react accordingly. The drive motors are self contained units pulled from some old LS120 laptop disk drives. The motors are used to eject the disk so they have a great amount of torque for their size.

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NanoBot

While waiting for the NXT system to come out, I decided to try my luck at making tiny robots. While Googling, I stumbled across a Yahoo newsgroup for NanoBots based on the MegaBitty controller. I have always been interested in making compact Lego robots, but for obvious reasons, they can only be so small. So, I decided to try my luck and NanoBots. Although I am not sure of the exact definition of a NanoBot, I believe it has specific maximum size limits for competition which is approx. 1 inch cubed (1x1x1). This is my first venture into non-Lego robots. NanoBot uses a variety of pico-sized components including:

  • Atmel Mega 8 Microcontroller
  • 2 GWS Micro Servos – hacked into the gearbox below.
  • A 3.5V IPOD Shuffle battery unit w/built-in charger.
  • CJH line and object sensing base and front circuit (uses SMT components)
  • None other than Lego minfig wheels

Some of the key electronic components used on NanoBot are:

  • AtMega8P main CPU (IC AVR MCU 8K 16MHZ COM 32-TQFP – ATMEGA8-16AC)
  • Photointerrupter Line sensor (x2) 424-1096-5-ND
  • All caps, resistors, LED’s are surface mount technology (SMT)

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