AI News, Robotics/Types of Robots/Wheeled

Robotics/Types of Robots/Wheeled

Wheeled robots are robots that navigate around the ground using motorized wheels to propel themselves.

This design is simpler than using treads or legs and by using wheels they are easier to design, build, and program for movement in flat, not-so-rugged terrain.

The center of gravity of the robot body is kept below the axle, usually this is accomplished by mounting the batteries below the body.

A tilt sensor that is used to determine tilt angle and wheel encoders which keep track of the position of the platform of the robot.

It was unique because of its motorcycle design, unlike the other two-wheeled robots, the wheel alignment is front and back, which makes it harder to balance as it turns.

3-wheeled robots may be of two types: differentially steered (2 powered wheels with an additional free rotating wheel to keep the body in balance) or 2 wheels powered by a single source and a powered steering for the third wheel.

In the case of differentially steered wheels, the robot direction may be changed by varying the relative rate of rotation of the two separately driven wheels.

An omni wheel is like many smaller wheels making up a large one, the smaller ones have axis perpendicular to the axis of the core wheel.

Advantages of using 3 wheels and not 4 are that its cheaper, and 3 points are guaranteed to be on the same plane, so each wheel in contact with the ground, but only one wheel will be rotating in the direction of travel.

The disadvantages of using Omni wheels is that they have poor efficiency due to not all the wheels rotating in the direction of movement, which also causes loss from friction, and are more computationally complex because of the angle calculations of movement.

More stable than the three wheel version since the center of gravity has to remain inside the rectangle formed by the four wheels instead of a triangle.

Still it's advisable to keep the center of gravity to the middle of the rectangle as this is the most stable configuration, especially when taking sharp turns or moving over a non-level surface.

The previous methods would require either 2 motors or a very complicated gearbox, since they require 2 output axles with independent speed and direction of rotation.

Differences in speed between the left and right wheels in differentially steered robots cause the robot to move to the side instead of in a straight line.

Robotics/Types of Robots/Wheeled

Wheeled robots are robots that navigate around the ground using motorized wheels to propel themselves.

This design is simpler than using treads or legs and by using wheels they are easier to design, build, and program for movement in flat, not-so-rugged terrain.

The center of gravity of the robot body is kept below the axle, usually this is accomplished by mounting the batteries below the body.

A tilt sensor that is used to determine tilt angle and wheel encoders which keep track of the position of the platform of the robot.

It was unique because of its motorcycle design, unlike the other two-wheeled robots, the wheel alignment is front and back, which makes it harder to balance as it turns.

3-wheeled robots may be of two types: differentially steered (2 powered wheels with an additional free rotating wheel to keep the body in balance) or 2 wheels powered by a single source and a powered steering for the third wheel.

In the case of differentially steered wheels, the robot direction may be changed by varying the relative rate of rotation of the two separately driven wheels.

An omni wheel is like many smaller wheels making up a large one, the smaller ones have axis perpendicular to the axis of the core wheel.

Advantages of using 3 wheels and not 4 are that its cheaper, and 3 points are guaranteed to be on the same plane, so each wheel in contact with the ground, but only one wheel will be rotating in the direction of travel.

The disadvantages of using Omni wheels is that they have poor efficiency due to not all the wheels rotating in the direction of movement, which also causes loss from friction, and are more computationally complex because of the angle calculations of movement.

More stable than the three wheel version since the center of gravity has to remain inside the rectangle formed by the four wheels instead of a triangle.

Still it's advisable to keep the center of gravity to the middle of the rectangle as this is the most stable configuration, especially when taking sharp turns or moving over a non-level surface.

The previous methods would require either 2 motors or a very complicated gearbox, since they require 2 output axles with independent speed and direction of rotation.

Differences in speed between the left and right wheels in differentially steered robots cause the robot to move to the side instead of in a straight line.

Basic Moving

So you’ve unpacked your friend Sparki and now you’re getting to know more about the robot and how Sparki works.

This means that Sparki’s movement rolling around on the ground is controlled by sending different amounts of power to the left and the right wheel.

For example, if the right wheel is rotating faster than the left one, the robot will turn left while traveling forward:

If the wheels move in opposite directions at the same speed, the robot will rotate around its center (which is also where it can hold a marker to draw with) kind of like a breakdancer or a ballerina spinning around in circles while staying in the same place:

Anything you write inside these curly brackets will happen over and over again since the code of the loop( ) function restarts at the beginning once Sparki reaches the end.

Once you’ve got Sparki and the computer connected you’ll have to make sure that you have the correct port and board type selected before you can upload code.

So we have to add a little bit of time where Sparki’s brain (or microprocessor) isn’t doing anything but its wheels keep turning.

You start walking, making sure you’re headed in the right direction, but after that you can think about other things than walking, right?

Here’s the code to make Sparki move forward and then backwards- Try changing the number inside of the parenthesis of the delay( ) function to change how long Sparki moves in either direction.

That number inside the parenthesis of the delay function is the number of milliseconds (one thousandths of a second) that Sparki just kind of thinks about nothing while Sparki’s motors continue doing the command above the delay( ) function.

That number you put inside the parenthesis is called an argument, it’s one of the ways that computers pass information between sections of code.

The delay( ) function takes that information inside the code and uses it to decide for how long it should do nothing, or delay.

Then you can just delete the code you added or use the undo function to back up a few steps.) We could continue to use delay( ) function with the moveRight( ) and moveLeft( ) function like we did with the moveForward and moveBackward function.

(No really, Sparki is actually visiting different places rather than just pacing back and forth.) This code makes Sparki move in a plus sign formation.

Change the delay( ) function after the moveStop( ) function to make Sparki wait around for a longer or shorter amount of time.

Now that you’ve taken a look at these three sets of functions you’re truly ready to create code that will have Sparki exploring the world.

Below is some review, vocabulary, explanation of some parts of the code we didn’t talk about and advanced code for those of you who want to dig deeper into Sparki’s commands.

By now you should feel comfortable with-  Moving Sparki around using the moveForward( ), moveBackward( ), moveLeft( ), moveRight( ), moveStop( ) and delay( ) functions.

To call (or use) a function you simply write the name of the function followed by an open and closed parenthesis and a semi-colon.

The actual function code is written somewhere else, in a library or in a different section of the code and is probably a lot longer than the length of the function name.

It’s a lot easier to write the function name (also known as “calling the function”) each time you want to use this code instead of writing it all out again.

Some functions don’t need to have arguments passed to them, some won’t work if you don’t pass them argument, others need multiple arguments to be passed to them (separated by commas) and then there are some functions that are happy with any of the options I just mentioned.

You can write silly things in here, take credit for your work or use two // at the beginning of a line of code to take the code out of the program Sparki runs but leave it visible to another programmer or yourself.

)– if there was any information (or arguments) that was being passed to the loop function the information (or variable) type would be inside of these parenthesis along with the name of the variable.

We can go a little deeper and use some lower level instructions, ones that are close to what Spark is actually doing, but require more of them to get things done: Where: Here is a small example, to make the robot pivot around an external center of rotation:

If you take a careful look at the code, you may note that one of the motors (the left motor in this example) rotates counterclockwise, while the other (right motor) rotates clockwise.

Take a look at your robot and try to figure this out: imagine that you can disassemble the robot (not a good idea!) and put the motors side by side.

Controls the speed and direction of the two motors connected to the robot's wheels.

If the value is greater than 0, the wheel turns forward.

Robot.motorsWrite(255,-255);//Make the robot rotate right, full speed

Code samples in the reference are released into the public domain.

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