Author Topic: Propeller Controller for Sumo Bot  (Read 1520 times)

Granz

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Propeller Controller for Sumo Bot
« on: August 20, 2013, 07:42:54 PM »
The Parallax Sumo Bot (http://www.parallax.com/tabid/768/productid/316/default.aspx) is a great little platform, and with the mini breadboard on the Stamp board, it can be used for most of the experimenting/learning available in the BOE-Bot.  While I would love to have a BOE-Bot, I do not have one yet, however, I do have a Sumo Bot. 

I got my start in micro-controllers with the BASIC Stamp, but prefer working with the Prop (gee, I wonder why? :P).  I am starting to design a PCB to mount a Prop onto my Sumo, and wanted to know if anyone else would be interested in this.

Right now, my design (still just in my head, nothing committed to CAD, yet) is as follows: There is, definitely, going to be a breadboard on the system (probably make room on the PCB, if I can squeeze it in,) that will allow for a lot of additional sensors/actuators.  There will probably be a couple of mounted light sensors right on the board.  The Futaba standard for servo connectors (Ground, then Vcc and then signal) is so common that most hobby electronics enthusiasts use that; plus it is great for sensors, as well as servos - just configure the signal pin for that servo as an input, and you can use the same connectors.  Therefore, there will be several Futaba-style connectors for servos and sensors.  As far as price goes: I am a cheapskate thrifty, and so I want to keep the price as low as possible (nothing in my store over $10, yet.)  In addition, my target market will be hobbyists and beginners (note my tagline,) so I will tend to design a board that those types will be able to build - probably nothing/little that will be surface mount - and any surface mount components will probably be mounted before the boards ship.

Also, does anyone have any hints/tips/caveats regarding this project?

mindrobots

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Re: Propeller Controller for Sumo Bot
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2013, 08:07:01 AM »
Hi Art,

In preparing for the Expo, I was thinking about a Propeller brain for my SumoBot (it never happened).

I first started looking for an existing Propeller board - none of them had the correct dimensions except for the Demoboard but with it you are carrying along a lot of I/O "baggage" that a robot doesn't need.

Then I thought just a larger breadboard (within dimensional limits) and use one of the Prop1 or Prop1 Extended modules and wire things up through the breadboard as needed/developed.

Then I thought the best approach might be a QuickStart with one of Jeff's Servo & More add on boards. That gives you all the extras you need for a robot platform.

So, that's where my currently brainless SumoBot is headed.

Another consideration I had is total weight. It requires more study of Sumo tactics but there might be better places to use weight than in boards and connectors. Low CG weight may be better than high CG weight. IF weight becomes an issue, then any "competition" robots would just have a minimal Propeller board (Prop1, Prop1 Extended, PropSick, MD40, the new Propeller Mini from Parallax, etc.) directly wired to any sensors or servos.

That's the course I'm setting out on for next year's competition season!

I certainly don't want to discourage you from developing a "SumoProp" board but I have no board design experience and tend to use the fruits of others when it comes to development boards. ....of course, if you come up with something, you would be one of those "others" I buy from!  :)

Rick
« Last Edit: August 21, 2013, 08:54:01 AM by mindrobots »

Granz

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Re: Propeller Controller for Sumo Bot
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2013, 09:17:40 AM »
Hi Art,

In preparing for the Expo, I was thinking about a Propeller brain for my SumoBot (it never happened).

I first started looking for an existing Propeller board - none of them had the correct dimensions except for the Demoboard but with it you are carrying along a lot of I/O "baggage" that a robot doesn't need.

Then I thought just a larger breadboard (within dimensional limits) and use one of the Prop1 or Prop1 Extended modules and wire things up through the breadboard as needed/developed.

Then I thought the best approach might be a QuickStart with one of Jeff's Servo & More add on boards. That gives you all the extras you need for a robot platform.

So, that's where my currently brainless SumoBot is headed.
Rick,

Yes, unfortunately, none of those would mount directly onto the Sumo Bot.  You would need to have some kind of a platform/plate on which to mount the controller, etc.  That is why I wanted to just print a PCB and then that would be the mounting plate for all of the other stuff (on the PCB, or on the breadboard.)

Another consideration I had is total weight. It requires more study of Sumo tactics but there might be better places to use weight than in boards and connectors. Low CG weight may be better than high CG weight. IF weight becomes an issue, then any "competition" robots would just have a minimal Propeller board (Prop1, Prop1 Extended, PropSick, MD40, the new Propeller Mini from Parallax, etc.) directly wired to any sensors or servos.
...
Rick,
Strange to say, I had not even considered weight - my thought was in using it as a BOE-Bot, and not for sumo (why would anyone want to use a Sumo Bot for Sumo wrestling? :P I just did not think about it.)  I will need to consider the weight here.  But, maybe it will just be an experimentation 'bot controller board, rather than a wrestler board...  Anyone else?  Would a PCB which turns a Sumo into an X-Bot (eXperimentation/eXplorer 'bot) be of interest to anyone other than me?

Thanks for the input.