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[DPRG] Advise with a project

Subject: [DPRG] Advise with a project
From: Randy M. Dumse rmd at newmicros.com
Date: Tue May 16 16:57:45 CDT 2006

> I´m about to tackle my first robotics project
> for my "microprocessors class" at college, and í´m
> not really sure about what i´m getting myself into.

Yes, you have a real challenge in front of you.

> I have this toy spaceship.
> http://ar.groups.yahoo.com/group/proyectonave/

You have four groups of eight tires, none of which can be
steered. Do you plan to do anything besides go forward and

If you do, you need skid steering or differential drive, and
that will be difficult on this robot because of the placement of
the tires. Also it will take a great deal of power to turn those
wheels differentially to twist to other directions.

> For all I know, it´s a great vehicle.

The next major problem is going to be coupling the motors to the
wheels. You will either need 4 motors (one for each set of
wheels, or belt/chain drive from one motor for each side, down
the legs, to couple to the wheel shafts. Either way, two or four
motors you probably need belt/chain drive down the legs to
couple to the wheel shafts.

Is the 8051 your only choice for microprocessor? is it a
requirement of the class? Few 8051's have really good features
for reading motor encoders, or generating signals for powering

Are you designing your PCB's from scratch? (It sounds like that
because you talk about separate boards for separate functions.
Do you know circuit board layout?

I would say, from what you've told us already, your chances of
finishing by December are very minimal, unless this is a fairly
full time job for you. You won't have time for other classes.


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