Alexander Kirillov wanted a robot that he could use as a teaching platform at SigmaCamp, a science-based summer camp in the USA. He looked at Poll’s Zumo robot, DF Robots’ Maqueen Plus, and Pimoroni’s Trilobite – all fine platforms, but none of them satisfied all of Alexander’s requirements. He wanted something compact, extendable, with a decent number and variety of sensors, and programmable in Python. Unable to find a device that matched these requirements, he decided to build his own.

He’s used silicone tracks and 6 V, 75-gear ratio micro metal gear motors, both by Pololu, an ESP32-S3 Feather board by Adafruit as the main controller, and designed a custom board to handle low-level operations such as maintaining consistent motor speed.

The sensors are where things get really interesting: among other things, there’s a 6 DOF Inertial Motion Unit (IMU), which can be used for determining robot orientation; two front-facing laser time-of-flight sensors, for detecting obstacles; and no fewer than seven sensors facing the ground, to enable line-following tasks.

From HackSpace magazine store


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