Robot

Please note: We are in the process of updating this information with v1.0 of our robot. What you see below is a previous version. For a preview, please see our updates on Twitter

 

Robot

Our robot aims to make your park operations more efficient.

 

 

Our 3D printed robot platform is designed for debris retrieval, exploration, and mobile sensor monitoring.

 

Debris retrieval is focused on tiny trash 10-50mm. Using semi-autonomous behaviours, the robot will be more efficient at collecting this size of debris than by hand. Deploying this as a tool for Citizen Science enables us to navigate to less accessible areas. With interchangeable drive system and arm modules, functionality can be extended. The vision is to have a fleet of robots integrated with existing environmental efforts, autonomously performing their tasks.

 

The robot is both robust and nimble. Watch as the robot overcomes obstacles and explores a shoreline (video):

 

The robot weighs 3-5kg, and its dimensions are 38cm long (70cm with arm fully extended), 37cm wide, and 36cm tall (72cm with arm up). In simpler terms, it’s about the size of a poodle

 

Our technical progress logs are on our hackaday.io project page. There you can also find the .stl files for the pre-release open source version of the robot.

 

We are always looking for collaborators with a willingness to learn and try new ideas. Contact us and we can work together

 

Robot Platform

 

labeled_robot

 

Constraints we set for developing the robot platform were:

  • Replicable: The chassis of the robot is entirely 3D printed. We did this so that anyone with a 3D printer will be able to replicate the same robot – essentially creating a standardized robot platform for citizen science
  • Low-cost: The base features for the robot will have to be the lowest cost possible, so that people can get up and running with the robot. For this reason, we use simple sensors, and sometimes have to rely on a robot operator for navigation assistance
  • Print size: The pieces are designed to be printed on a 10cm x 10cm x 10cm build platform. Some pieces are the exception, extending 2cm more. Maximum print time for a single piece is 4 hours

 

Arm with scoop end-effector:

robot_arm_scoop

 

Base of robot:

robot_base

 

Wheels on robot:

 

robot_wheels

Electronics

The board on the robot is currently hand soldered. We are developing a pcb so that it will be easier for everyone to add the electronics. Our main controller is a Teensy 3.2, and we will be upgrading to a Teensy 3.6.

robot_electronics_front

robot_electronics_back

 

GPS Unit

 

The GPS Unit is standalone and can be attached onto the base of the robot. This modularity allows for the GPS Unit to be taken on other adventures as well, such as a stand up paddleboard. The connector can be added from the unit to the robot to feed it the current latitude and longitude necessary for navigation to a waypoint. The coordinates are logged every 2-5 seconds to a file on the micro sd card.

 

 

robot_gps_unit

Control Box

 

The control box is used to remotely operate the robot. We can achieve 1km distance line of site, and we have tested it at 150m. There are 5 buttons for advanced functions. The control uses an off the shelf “Wii Nunchuck” (video game controller) that can be used one-handed, and has two buttons which control the arm and scoop pitch.

 

robot_control_box

Sweeper Mechanism

 

The sweeper mechanism is currently in development. Follow our progress on hackaday.io and twitter