Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab
Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab

Pom Pom bot but by air.

Description.

For this assignment we are to use arduino and some 9g servo motors to creating a robot of some kind that can move at least an inch. Over the course of the assignment we are to: design a concept, design a prototype, make a 2nd prototype, and make a final bot that moves the inch. For the concept we are to put our ideas out on paper in a sketch or in words. For the prototypes, we are to describe what challenges we face and how we plan to combat these challenges. Same goes for the 2nd prototype except we have to talk about what improvements we made from the first prototype. I went about this project a little bit differently, my robot traveled by air. Air as in it traveled along two balance beams that were held up by two tables (you’ll see in the video). This project was a bit stressful, I’ll speak more about that in the reflection. 

 

Initial Design.

The initial design for was air travel robot was to have a single skewer hold the servo in the air and move each end a couple degrees at a time. Basically my robot was going to look like have of the thing constructed below.

 

My robot would use: pipe cleaners, skewer, pom poms, Popsicle sticks, servo, and a bent paperclip. Pipe cleaners were used to hold everything in place. Skewer was used to hold the servo in the air. Pom poms would act as anchor points, these would ideally move down the balance beams. Popsicle sticks would be used to construct the beams it would balance on. Servo for movement. Finally, the bent paperclip would be weaved through the servo fin to hold the pipe cleaner skewer in place when moving. 

 

Initial prototype.

This video shows my first prototype and the biggest issue that I would spend many hours trying to solve. That issue being the fact that the skewer and servo motor are separate entities. Since these two are independent from each other they will not move in unison. Either the servo moves or the skewer moves. If I were to pinch the servo motor with my hands the robot would travel that inch no problem. So, I started to think how I can unify these two parts. I will not change the base of my design but, I could add a couple things to the servo to hold it all together. I thought of using rubber bands and an extra pipe cleaner to hold everything more tightly together.  

2nd prototype

Here is what the 2nd version looked like. The new pink pipe cleaner is wrapped around the center of the skewer and motor. This pipe cleaner actually did a nice job of holding it all together! Next I would take two rubber band and quadruple bind both side of the skewer. The servo motor has these little notches on the side that made for great rubber band sockets. Overall the 2nd prototype was far more secure that the first one. 

I don’t have footage of the testing but the same thing happened, it didn’t move. The servo was still acting as an independent body. This is where I discovered that force was not my solution so I began to look elsewhere (not force) for my final design. 

I began to think back to my initial design, about why it didn’t work. I said that, if the servo didn’t move the skewer would, thus I should try to find a way to hold the servo still. I tried to work against the separate bodies when I should have been working with them. Once I thought of this, I finished the project in the next 20 min. 

Final Bot.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/90vp1q8sacqmz94/20190408_181624.mp4?dl=0

Side note: I will never get over hearing myself in recordings, yuck.

So, here is the final design! Like is said the problem was not the force but of holding only the servo in place. The way I did this was by putting two large Popsicle sticks right next to the motor. These Popsicle sticks would be held in place by the force of two tables pushing on them. These forcefully held Popsicle sticks would act as walls for the servo to stay in place. In the video, one of the Popsicle sticks fell. This reduced my robots movement speed to a shimmy but still got the job done. Instead of being held still the whole time, it would only stay still for a small about of time, thus the shimmy.In this assignment (I’d imagine) one would have three key components: Means of travel, motor, and a core. For the bulk of this assignment I only had the motor and core. Not until I found my means of travel, did I complete this assignment. These side sticks seem odd, but think of it like they are feet. They are a means to move not directly connect to the main body. Would a robot with just toothpick legs be able to move? That is how I justify this addition. 

Reflection

Once again, I made this projects leagues harder then it really needed to be. Traveling by air proved to be a bigger challenge than I initially thought. Physics and stubbornness were my biggest issues for this project.

The issue of physics was the initial problem that made this assignment harder than it needed to be. To start off, the wacky physics I had to deal with we solely because my robot was in the air. Where most would have a robot that would exude a force back on the table, keeping everything together, my robot exudes a force downward, pulling on the sticks. I do not have the physics expertise to competently explain this, but this pulling down force seems to have made the two bodies separate. Moving on, stubbornness forces me to not give up fast enough to pursue alternative solutions. I usually get so fixated on a route to the point where I end up forcing it to work. This is more of just a personality trait that gets in the way more than a specific assignment issue.  Overall, stubbornness and ignorance do what they do and delay progress. 

As you have noticed my robot only had one motor and not the required two. This was due to be just assuming details instead of actually reading them. I figured we just had to make a robot move, and that the two motor robot was only for class. Since learning this error, I have thought about about a couple designs that I felt I should throw in, for what it’s worth. first design would look something like this -> \_🔲|🔲_/ The boxes are the servo motors and the lines are the Popsicle sticks. This robot would employ a climbing movement along the Popsicle sticks. I would have to put notches on the outer side of the popsicle sticks and something on the ends of the arms so that the arms would have something to hook onto. Almost a sliding lock. The other model would be like the initial two motor design at the top of the post. The design would be a cross that would spin continually on top of two layers of Popsicle sticks. Once one half of the wheel crossed into the middle (where it would fall) the other half would be holding it up. Ideally, in a perfect world, this design would act like a wheel as it spins down the lines of sticks. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Locomotion Pom Bot

This week, I tried to build a machine powered by an arduino and two servos that would walk. My initial design had two servos tightly rubber banded together, with popsicle sticks glued onto the mounts. I did a lot of experimentation with getting it to move differently by changing the rates and timings of turning the sticks. I couldn’t achieve very coordinated motion with this initial design. The main issue I had to consider was how to get the bot to be able to reset the servos after they carried it forward (without the reset moving it backward too much).

I came back to the bot and decided to create a pipe cleaner tripod underneath it and shorten one of the sticks. I thought this might make the movement easier to analyze and increment off of. Unfortunately I had less time than I would have liked to spend with this because I had to go through a lengthy process of elimination of working/faulty parts, which came down to a single malfunctioning wire. I ended up with a robot that moves slowly sideways, and only when set up in a very particular way.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1pn0TUxjTbDS4RYzyzRfdT4cyWXoqRGjK

I don’t think the video portrays it well, but the bot almost fell off the table while I was tweaking the code and the tripod position.

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Pom Pom Bot Assignment

Initial Pom Pom Design

After considering how different animals move, I initially decided to have my pom pom bot crawl along the ground–with 2 servos with popsicle sticks attached that would act as “arms” that dug into the ground and pulled the bot forward.  The bot would have regular cycles of the arms starting in front of the body, rotating under the body and pulling the body forward, and then the arms quickly rotating the opposite direction to reset the arms back in front of the body and to start the cycle again. Before I started building the circuit or writing code, I drew a quick sketch of how the bot would move (the “Locomotion” section”)  and what the final bot would look like (the “Aesthetics” section).

 

 

Initial Prototype Sketch During Lab Section

A green caterpillar, the image that comes to my mind when I think “caterpillar”

Since the bot would be crawling along the ground, I wanted the appearance of the bot to resemble an animal that crawled along the ground.  Caterpillars and snakes were the first animals that came to mind, but after I saw the pipe cleaners in the lab, that reminded me of the ribbing around caterpillars and that finalized my decision to make my pom pom bot look like a caterpillar; the main body would be a felt cylinder and the ribbing of the body would be made out of pipe-cleaners that ran across the diameter of the felt cylinder to mimic the cylindrical torso of a caterpillar.  The skeleton of the body would be made with popsicle sticks to provide a rigid platform to attach the servos to.  Finally, the eyes would be made with googly eyes or layered cotton balls, whichever one looked sillier 😛

 

Initial Prototype Construction

My initial prototype was a disaster.  Writing the code was easy, but I didn’t realize the servos’ 180 degree rotation restriction would be an issue.  My initial design had both servos resting on top of the popsicle stick skeleton, with one servo motor on the left and right side of the bot, and each servo would sweep under the body at the same time.  However, because the servos could only turn 180 degrees, there was no way to orient the servos such that they rested on top of the skeleton and both rotated under the skeleton.

If you look in the below picture, both servos rest on top of the body (Popsicle sticks).  But because the servos only rotate 180 degrees, the left servo is only able to sweep from in front of the body to under the body (which i want), but the right servo can only sweep from in front of the body to above the body (which is not what I wanted).

The result was that the bot just flailed around instead of making any progress since servos could not sweep the same direction at the same time. See this Google Drive video or this video to see how the 180 degree degree rotation restriction resulted in a flailing bot.

So going forward I had to reconsider how the servos would be placed on the skeleton of the bot.

 

Updated Designs

v2

My next design was a small fix to just place the right servo on the bottom of the skeleton rather than on top–that way the right servo’s 180 degrees of motion would sweep under the body just like the left servo.  As you can see in the below picture, the left servo is above the skeleton (red rubber bands) and the right servo is below the skeleton (left rubber bands), and now both servos could rotate the same direction (in the direction of the blue arrows, under the skeleton)

v3

That small modification for v2 allowed the servos to sweep together under the main body, but after running this design I realized that the popsicle stick arms were not generating enough friction with the table to pull the body forward.  At this point, I had not even added the felt body to the pom pom bot, so the weight that the arms were going to have to pull was only going to get larger and a re-design was required.  After seeing the servos run for a bit, I shifted gears from the popsicle sticks pulling the bot forward as arms, to instead having the popsicle sticks pushing the bot forward as legs since this would require less friction from the servos’ attached popsicle sticks to work effectively.  So the shift from v2 to v3 was adding the felt body and running the servos so that they pushed the bot forward.

However, in v3 the max angle that the servos would sweep to was too extreme and the servos swept too fast (servos swept to a maximum of 140 degrees with minimal delay), so the pom pom bot would erratically jump around rather than moving forward in a consistent manner (as you can see in this Google Drive Video).

v3.5

v3.5 had the same physical construction of v3, but the maximum angle that the servos would sweep to was reduced to 65 degrees in the code.  This stopped the bot from jumping around erratically like v3 did, but now the bot just moved up and down rather than making any forward progress (as you can see in this Google Drive Video)

 

Final Prototype

For the final prototype I made a few mechanical adjustments from v3.5 to make the pom pom bot effectively move forward

  • Changed the maximum sweep angle to 120 degrees so the legs would go underneath the body far enough to be able to push the body forward, but not sweep so far that the bot would jump around when the legs were retracted
  • Added a small 250ms delay between cycles to allow the bot to settle down before rotating the legs again
  • Added a popsicle stick “tongue” to the front of the the body.  Before, the front of the felt body was the only other point of contact between the pom pom bot and the ground when the legs were fully rotated.  But the friction between the felt and the table was too high so the bot had trouble moving forward.  The addition of the popsicle stick tongue lowered the friction between the front of the pom pom bot and the ground (since popsicle sticks have lower friction than felt), so the legs had an easier time pushing the bot forward

This allowed the bot to move forward in a consistent manner.  See this Google Drive Video to see the final bot in action.

And now that the pom pom bot was moving correctly, I added the rest of the aesthetic materials to the bot (pipe cleaners for ribbing and tail, and cotton balls for eyes and nose) to make it look like a caterpillar.  Here are some pictures of the final bot.

 

Reflections on Final Prototype

My final prototype was similar in spirit to my initial design, but physical restrictions (servos only able to rotate 180 degrees, friction with the table) required me to update the mechanics design.  The main change was having the servos push the bot forward rather than pull the bot forward, while the aesthetics of the bot remained the same.

I was surprised how much I enjoyed making the face of the bot.  Maybe it was the relief of not dealing with the servos anymore, but I had some solid giggles when putting on the eyes and the nose of the bot…perhaps the elongated tongue and slightly off-kilter eyeballs gave the bot a derpy charm.

Most importantly, I named my pom pom bot Harrington.

 

 

 

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Arduino 2

For this project I initially wanted to make a robot that does the Woah, a new dance move that’s been all over Twitter these past few weeks. I drew out the arm motions and quickly realized that I’d actually need at least 2 servos going 360* and another servo to move both arms side to side, and so it wasn’t going to happen.

My second thought was to make an old lady with a walker. The idea came from using something similar to skis to grip the floor and bring the object forward. 

The robot was going to be constructed from two servos, which I later placed together at the top of the walker rather than the bottom legs, popsicle sticks for the walker, pom pom tennis balls on the bottom of the sticks for added height and stability, and a little lady made of light weight materials like pipecleaners. 

As previously mentioned, I decided to connect the servos together so that they would be at equal height on the legs instead of trying to measure them later. This would also be more stable on the front of the walker, keeping the robot from falling down. I added popsicle sticks to the servo propellers to act as the front legs of the walker. 

It was at this point that I realized it wouldn’t walk like a walker, but instead the walker would walk and the old lady would follow behind. I decided that this walker would now be intended to drag the person behind while they wear slippers, kind of like when a rollerskater grips on to a moving car.

I added a second leg, then connected 2 short popsicle sticks perpendicularly, and another 2 for the second set of legs. 

IMG_1793

This immediately fell over. So I connected the back legs, hoping that would make the robot more stable, but that fell over too. But here is my prototype. The legs move 45* and one after another, the servos are the front legs to move the walker and also support it upright, and the back end is static. 

This time when I redrew my design, I was a little more detailed about the construction.

I changed the code so the servos would move simultaneously, and to different positions with a shorter delay. I added a third set of legs, so that the walker would be box shaped and that the servo legs would left and drag the walker forward, pulling the woman behind it. I made the servos faster because I thought that would be helpful given the additional weight of the old lady. And I added in the necessary slippers.

IMG_1808

Here’s the robot dragging itself along, and the successful code.

and my final pom pom bot!

IMG_1812

It’s a lot more stable, which was my main goal after the first prototype! It doesn’t fall over, and is successfully able to wobble itself from point A to point B, although not necessarily in the straightest line (I think that has to do with the wires connecting it to the arduino. 

I think the design process was pretty typical. I haven’t felt the need to draw a second design in the past, but since I did this over the course of two days it didn’t feel unusual to start the second day with a different design. I think if it had been different materials I might have completely scrapped the first design without thinking. But I’m not sure how much servos cost, and really the servos were going to be the same in the second one anyway so I’m glad I was able to just add onto the first prototype and fix it’s shortcomings.

 

In case the videos aren’t showing up, here’s the final product:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1MPIllrtDecOEFC3xaA6Oh6T3FRdgZZMU/view?usp=sharing

 

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Pom Bots!

Initial Idea: My initial idea was to make a caterpillar like bot that moves by rapidly shaking back and forth. The design can be seen below.

In terms of materials I wanted to use pipe cleaners for the bottom so it could grip onto the table and move. Then I would use paper, popsicle sticks and balls of fluff to make the remainder of the body. 

Prototype: Before I started creating the the entire design I wanted to make a smaller prototype to test if the movement I want actually worked.

 IMG_0368

As can be seen in the video the bot did in fact move, technically. It was able to shimmy across the table ever so slightly. Even though my concept would technically work, I decided to try a completely different approach to the pom bot entirely since I wanted the bot to move in a more fluid way. I also found that in terms of code this prototype would only move if the motor was programed to run at a fast speed, with this in mind I also wanted to make the next prototype able to move with a lower motor speed.

2nd Prototype: Instead of making the bot more box shaped like my initial design, I made it lanky and upright so I could attach the motor right side up instead of outside down like the first prototype. Also unlike the first prototype I also worked to make the bot more aesthetically pleasing by making it colorful. This new design can be seen below.

To my surprise this bot worked much better than my first prototype and was able to move at a variety of motor speeds. The only issues I ended up running into with this prototype was legs becoming separated from the motor, to help mitigate this I wrapped a pipe cleaner around the servo motor itself to keep the legs close to the motor even if they fell off of the propeller. The bot in action can be seen below.

Untitled

Comparing this version to the first prototype, it is easy to see that the movement is much smoother. With this in mind I felt that overall this design was pretty close to where I wanted the final product, the only improvements I wanted to explore was making the legs more stable and find a way to get the feet to not cross over each other as much.

Final Pom Bot:

I unfortunately did not have the time to completely finish the idea of my final pom bot. However, I do have an image of how I would have gone about stabilizing the feet.

While I didn’t get to test this with the motor, I feel like having one or two piper cleaners attached to the feet would help make the bot shake less violently, which would also help in keeping the bot together.

In terms of the locomotion the first  bot just kinda spun in place and slightly shimmied forward, whereas the final bot actually moved forward with a very janky form of walking. 

I was surprised how I made a pretty specific drawn concept, however once I actually got the hardware and started working on it I quickly threw out my initial idea and designed something very different. With this in mind for future projects, I should create more than just one initial idea so I have more to work off of if one of the ideas doesn’t pan out. 

 

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Locomoting Pom Pom Bot Assignment

For this week’s assignment, we worked with Arduino to create locomotive pom pom robots.

In lab, we explored servo motors and played around with the servo example sweep code. We added a second servo and tinkered the code to gain a better understanding of the operations. We had a few minutes to change the delay, angles, and positions.

After, I sketched a rough concept of my locomotive pom pom bot. My idea was inspired by the way penguins move; they waddle. To mimic the movement, I played around with angles and started off with two sweeping 90 degree angles to act as the feet.

IMG_2088

IMG_2110

Initially, I thought I would make my pom pom robot out of a bunch of pom poms but ended up using foam because I needed a more stable overall structure. Instead of cutting and crafting the parts of a penguin, I decided to origami fold one. I had to super clue the folds down because I was using a thicker material. Then I fashioned platforms to which I would connect the penguin to the servo motors using popsicle sticks. And taped around the servo motors to the popsicle sticks to be positioned on the ground surface.

The initial construction of the pom pom bot had difficulty moving because the way base structure of the foam restricted flexibility in movement. Therefore, I had to do a bit of tinkering of the prototype. I cut the tail of the penguin down the middle to allow for better mobility. Therefore, the servo motors could begin to movie from A to B at 90 degree angles.

IMG_2114

After, I just had to adjust the positioning of the servo motors because they were at an angle of each other, rather than parallel. As well, I had to tinker the code in order to get the servo motors to move in the same direction if I had flipped the motor in order for the servos to be positioned with the rotating bit on the outside of the bot. This was the final code:

Servo myservo; 

Servo myservo2;

int pos = 0;    // variable to store the servo position

void setup() {

  myservo.attach(9);  // attaches the servo on pin 9 to the servo object

  myservo2.attach(11);

}

void loop() {

  for (pos = 0; pos <= 90; pos += 5) {    

    myservo.write(pos);           

    delay(15);                   

  }

  for (pos = 90; pos >= 0; pos -= 5) {

    myservo.write(pos);         

    delay(15);                 

  }

  //second servo

    for (pos = 90; pos >= 0; pos -= 5) { 

    myservo2.write(pos); 

    delay(15);                 

  }

  for (pos = 0; pos <= 90; pos += 5) { 

    myservo2.write(pos);         

    delay(15);                 

  }

  }

I tested the bot once more and found that it waddled exactly how I wanted, which I was really content with. I added a few decorative features, and I would actually say that even though it wasn’t a drastic change, it seemed to slow the bot down a bit. But it still moves from A to B. If I had to redo the assignment, I think I would elongate the connections of the rotating bits of the servo motor  in order to get the penguin possibly to move in longer strides and to essentially mimic the feet of penguins, and then probably design it in some way so that it looks like so.

IMG_2115

IMG_2116

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Arduino: Locomoting bots

Subtitle: shaoyie is not responsible enough to use a hot glue gun.

 

Finished product! Dragon!  (Video will be attached below)

 

I will readily admit I probably should have focused on the “locomoting” part of it a bit more. Got a little too excited about the dragon part, so it uh, it moves. Just… not effectively. Or in the expected direction.

Photo of completed + video:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1jRvHn8NHHV5jsZw27p9LbVAPHLAmTVdm/view?usp=sharing

I promise it is actually moving. Just….. very incrementally. 

  I uhh… did not actually take that many pictures. /Technically/ this is my first iteration- 

Which is, clearly, having some stability issues. It did actually move a little, but was basically falling over every time it took a step.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Bz9OpVuoGCXtxtkIsnHlinu9w2ND1OSr/view?usp=sharing

Which was funny. But also not great.  So I decided to ease up on making it stand on its own, and gave it a little structure frame thing to hold it up properly. 

(This was also when I realized why I don’t normally use hot glue guns. I know the glue is hot. Its a hot glue gun. But I always, without fail, want to poke it.)

In addition, I modified the code a bit to make the steps smaller, so it wouldn’t be flailing its limbs everywhere. The pace of the steps seemed to be generally in line with how walking could actually work, so once I had the general setup down, I kept that. This was actually done by incrementing the degrees of the two legs in one single for loop, which kind of made it so that one leg… lags? might be the best way of phrasing it? behind the other.

 

The final product still wasn’t as good as I wanted. The legs would actually be moving it properly, I think, if I had some extra time to work on it. The issue had to do with the grip the “feet” had + the way they were alternating; they were basically gripping the floor enough to move a little, but the other food was moving with the right timing to then shift it back. I wanted to modify the frame a bit so it would tilt forward more, so that there is grip when the foot moves back, but not when it swings forward. I ran out of time in the fab lab though, so its still not in primo condition. Maybe I will do some extra fixes before class starts tomorrow? We shall see. 

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PomBot – Renuka Nannapaneni

In lab section this week we learned how to control the servo motor with the Arduino board. 

My idea was to get something moving and then create the creature around the movement. I wanted to have something along the lines of wheels so I created this. Originally, I had the connections to the motor in the 

middle of the spokes but the creature would only move back and forth, and then when I off-centered the connection and started the legs in different positions (one with long side down, and other with short side down) the bot moved forward. 

The code, was moving both “wheels” at the same time, but when most variations of the code kept moving the bot back and forth rather than overall forward, I switched it up so the wheels were moving at different speeds. 

This link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1k-UyeoaqIPv_pwejwWRFfIb5XnK9L9pe/view?usp=sharing 

has the final movement captured. If I were to do the project over I would’ve tried to make the motion more deliberate rather than just doing it by trial and error, and I would’ve embellished my creature more, as of now he is a single eyes spider mutant with stripes on his legs. 

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Locomoting Pom-Pom bots

Locomoting Pom Pom Bots

We continued on working with Arduinos, and the goal for this week was to make a pom-pom bot that moves from point A to point B.

 

Initial Design: Inchworm

In lab, I made an inchworm that moved like an inchworm, but didn’t traverse across a surface. So, I thought I could expand on the design, and make an actual inchworm robot. I planned to have a sticky end (dried hot glue) that would cling onto the surface so that each time the bot contracted, the non-sticky part would follow. I created the initial prototype, which did not work very well, and was flimsy. I thought that the sticky part was not heavy enough, so for the second prototype, I added additional weights to the sticky end. Sadly, that did not work out well either. Therefore, I decided to change the design altogether

 

New Design: Skiing

The new design I chose mimicked a cross-country skier. It would stand on two flat boards, and move by pushing itself forward. I planned to make one side of the stick have more friction than the other side, thinking that pushing on the side with less friction would not move the bot as far. The first design worked quite well, but it could only move back and forth, as pushing on the side with more friction had the same effect as pushing on the side with less friction.

I updated the skier to lift up the poles when moving the poles back to the starting point. It required adding two more servo motors to the bot, and hooking up together so that they did not interfere with each other. Also, I gave the bot a wider base so that it was more stable. Thankfully, the new designed worked very well, and the bot was able to move about.

I changed the poles to resemble a person holding a ski pole, and decorated the pom pom bot.

 

Reflection

I think the final product worked very well, but I’m a little bit disappointed that my initial idea did not work quite well.

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Dinosaur

I began by sketching & brainstorming types of movement. Waddling seemed possible. So I added that to the fact that my nephew loves dinosaurs & the recent discussions my family has had about Nessie to create a dinosaur that waddles.

At first, I couldn’t get the servos to go opposite ways so I designed version 1 in way that would facilitate having them move the same direction…. I put one servo upside down so they moved in opposite ways despite the code.

 

I was very proud of the way I attached the flippers to the motors by untwisting the pipe cleaner. It made for a stable, but removable, flipper.

Version 1 didn’t get enough traction because the motors were raised so high above the surface. For version 2, I determined to set them right on the surface. This meant fixing my code. 

Thankfully, Emilie taught me that to make them move opposite ways at the same time I simply had to give 1 set of instructions for the placement & movement within a loop then put both servos into the loop with 1 catch. 1 servo was – 180. This made them go opposite ways!

(I lost my code, or else I’d show you)

As I created version 2 I’d add a bit then test it, add a bit then test it. It only barely moved so I was paranoid about it getting too heavy.

To reduce weight I undid my first hump made of fabric & redid it in puffballs.

He took his sweet time, but he got from point A to point B & even moved enough to fall off the table.

It didn’t even occur to me until later that I could’ve put the arduino & bread box inside. That could’ve either made it too heavy, or prevented them from holding back the movement.

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Pom-Pom Bee Bot

For this Assignment I started off by drawing an initial concept/design on paper. In this initial design I wanted to have the motors held together with a rubber band and have the motor attachments act as feet which was inspired by the way penguins walk. My goal with this design was to use jerking motions to make it move from point A to B. Then I attached the foam and pom outfit of the bot on the outside with arms made of pipe cleaners. 

 

 This design resulted in this little prototype bot to the left. However, the way the feet moved made the bot fall over a lot while moving. As shown in the video here: IMG_3553

I tried to stabilize the bot with a popsicle stick that was hot glued to the back. This helped but it still would eventually fall over. Making the bot shorter could’ve helped this too but since the movement of the motors wasn’t letting it remain balanced and move far I tried to come at it from a different approach with wheels for the second iteration to improve the movement. I also decided to change the pom pom bot costume to look like a bee and used hot glue to make the costume more stable instead of tape and rubber bands.

 

For the 2nd prototype I used a hot glue gun and yellow foam to make the wheels. Inside the wheels I used pipe cleaners to attach the motor feet to the inside of the wheels which looked similar to a bike wheel hub with axels and a rim. I again stabilized the motor’s together using a rubber band but this time with the motors in different positions. The costume was made with poms, black foam, and fabric. Although I fixed the falling over problem, the wheels were too small to have the Bee move much and the motors we have only go 180 degrees which made coding them as normal wheels impossible. Although I knew to begin with that it could only go 180 degree’s, I didn’t realize that you couldn’t continuously make it go 180 degrees and that the motor would have to go back to it’s initial starting point every time. 

Video: IMG_3581

 

For my final design I decided to have the bee lay on it’s belly, made the wheels bigger, and programmed the code so that the wheels would move as close to wheels as I could get them for maximum movement. This required coding them to go forward very fast and then backwards slowly. Although it might take the bee a while to get anywhere since it does move back and forth it can still move about 2 inches after going through a couple cycles of the code. Here is a video which shows how the bee bot moves: IMG_3587.1

This final design ended up looking very different from the first prototype. I improved upon the first design by adding wheels, changing the costume, changing the placement of the motors, and changing the coding to work with the wheels. The costume part went well and I enjoyed it because I used to make a lot of pom pom creatures when I was a kid but the design with wheels would have worked a lot better with motors that had 360 degree motion. 

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