The BluBot was designed in part to meet some of the challenges that have been discussed on R.T.L etc.. The idea is this:
The BluBot will move around an arena in a random manner until the light sensor detects a yellow ball (reading 44-50).
If the ball is not yellow, BluBot will backup, turn and continue. If it is yellow, BluBot will drive forward to collect the ball. Once the balls have been picked up, BluBot sets out to seek the black line around the arena. Once it is found, BluBot starts a line-following algorithm. Once the main drop-off is reached the kicker will engage and dispense the balls into the holding area. The method in which this is done can be better seen below.

The BluBot – the ball collector
Showing the ball-collecting process.

Specs: 3 motors – 2 Technic 1 micro
2 touch sensors, 1 light, 1 rotation
The 2 touch sensors are used for object avoidance. The rotation sensor is used to calibrate the kicker, the light sensor is used to detect the balls and follow the black line around the arena.

BluBot Front – being built
The following pics will give you a better idea as to how this thing works. Shown here, you can see the light detector which detects both ball colour and black line for returning to the arena. There is also main pickup mechanism (some may recognize this), the kicker mechanism driven by a micro motor, and the pickup is driven by the wheel drive mechanism.
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BluBot – Bottom
Here is a pic of the bottom of BluBot. From the back you can see the 2 drive motors that drive the large gears which in turn drive each wheelset seperately (to steer) as well as the pickup unit (front).

BluBot – Pickup
This is the pickup unit. Each side is driven seperatly by each motor. When a yellow ball is detected BluBot drives forward and the teeth pickup the ball (does a good job at it too). This system allows BluBot to turn to avoid obstacles and still be able to run its ball-pickup procedure. See the animation above to follow the ball through.

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BluBot – Top
This shows the drive, pickup and kicker units from above. Notice the blue flex tubing. This is used to hold the ball center while it is being picked up. This is very important as it is easy for the ball to get caught on the side for follow the wrong pickup track…

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