Open source robot - teaser

Sometimes we adults get to build our own robots. I’ve been working on a simple design over the last few weeks, not a competition robot (although competition legal) in as much as it would not be competitive for Sack Attack and was not primarily designed with competition in mind. It also has some deliberately built in limitations to allow (hopefully) it to be used to develop some more advanced software algorithms.

I plan to release the full design, CAD, bill of materials and software, so that anyone who wants could also build one (which is why I call it open source) or create an improved version.

The total cost (without batteries but with cortex) is $1470, batteries etc. adds another $130 so starting from scratch and buying all parts individually would cost $1600.

Here are a couple of CAD renders and a photo of the finished robot.



1 Like

Great idea. Thanks for sharing. I am amazed by the quality and quantity of the work you have been sharing with this community. How many hours are in your days? It seems to be more than 24.

1 Like


(ten characters)

Sometimes!! You must be referring to Team Mentors… I get to build Designs ( Plagiarized or Otherwise ) all the Time…

From the First Look, I would guess I have ALL the parts to build this Robot… Except for the Vex Ultrasonic sensors ( I have a pair of Parallax ones… )

I like the Idea of “advanced software algorithms”… Better Living through Embedded Programming… :wink:

Will you include information on your Design Choices, like Gear Ratios and Motor Selection, Feedback Sensors and Locations of them, Materials Selection… Just about Anyone can buy the same parts and assemble them per your CAD’s, but knowing why a Part was chosen and why it was placed where it is on the Robot is a Valuable Lesson in itself.

Oh… Now your going to make me face how much I have spent on Vex Parts in the last 7 years. It’s easy to forget when you stick them in a box and hide them away

Very Impressive… I have got to get good with 3DS Max or Solidworks…

1 Like

Honestly… I think jpearman is a Time Lord… I keep wondering what Shape his TARDIS is camouflaged in. And why he keeps limiting himself to Human technology…

Thanks James, for keeping the Bar, Set so High…


( Please Vote on this Thread!!! )

1 Like

Yes, I mean team mentors who are supposed to let the students do the work and keep their hands off the student robots (although I fail at this all the time).

It has the common sensors.
Limit switches
Bumper switch
Quad encoders
Line follower kit
Integrated motor encoders

My version also has a gyro and accelerometer but that’s another $80 and is optional.

It is also configured to use potentiometers for the arm instead of the IME but that then limits arm movement to 200 degrees rather than the current 300.

One example will be stability (anti tilt) control by using the accelerometer but I did not write that code yet. The wheel base was left on the short side to give marginal stability to see if this is possible.

I will be including this, one choice I made was to avoid cutting aluminum C channels so they can be more easily reused in future designs. This has made the height exactly 15 inches, that may be an area where if it were a real competition robot for Sack Attack it would have been done differently.

The renders are straight out on Autodesk Inventor, 3DS Max is on my to do list of software to learn.

Thanks everyone for the positive comments.

1 Like

I learned from Tutoring in College that the Students must Try It For Themselves. If you have to put your Hand On It, have the Students watch, them make them do it themselves… The Best of Both Worlds…

How many Quad Encoders and Motor Encoders??

I have the V.5 Accelerometer, it appears to work just like the V 1.0 Accelerometer… I have the Gyro On-Order, delivery should be Wed, 13-FEB-2013.

A Programming Example, left for the Student to Solve…

So the rest of us, will need to get together and Dissect your Design and debate all the Pros and Cons… This must be the Group Exercise…

I should learn that one too…

James… Your the Man!!!

1 Like