Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab
Illinois Informatics and School of Information Sciences
Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab

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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