vb.net barcode reader from webcam RELATING SIMULATIONS TO THE REAL WORLD in Software

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RELATING SIMULATIONS TO THE REAL WORLD
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17.2.2 BUMPER SENSORS When we built the real-world version of our simulated robot, we could have constructed everything from scratch. As mentioned earlier, we decided to use the Boe-Bot kit because it made the assembly a lot easier. The rectangular shape of the Boe-Bot did require some modi cation to make it circular as in the simulation. Our simulated robot has four bumper switches mounted around the front, back, and sides of the base. There are many ways of building these bumpers for a real robot. They could be made using leaf switches, for example, with a plastic or wire bumper glued to the actuator lever. We decided to get really creative and design a custom bumper system that is integrated into our robot s body. We used -in foam-board (found at many craft and of ce supply stores) and the inner ring of a wooden embroidery hoop to construct the robot s round body (see Fig. 17.2). The inner ring of the embroidery hoop is glued around the edge of the foam board. This wooden edge is covered rst with a thin layer of foam tape and then a layer of real copper tape (also found at craft stores). Make sure you use real copper because the surface must be conductive to electricity. The outer embroidery hoop is cut into four pieces (130 on the front and rear and 50 on the sides) that will become the actual bumpers. Each of these pieces is also lined with copper tape along the bottom edge as shown in Fig. 17.3. Also shown in the gure is the Boe-Bot body from Parallax which was modi ed in several ways. First, the servos were mounted with spacers to give a wider, more stable wheelbase for the new larger body. Second, the original
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FIGURE 17.2 robot.
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Foam-board can be easily cut to form the circular body of the
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GOING FURTHER
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FIGURE 17.3 switches.
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Copper tape creates the conductive surfaces for the bumper
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hole (used to pass wires from the servos to the BS2) was enlarged (more on how this will be used later). A second hole was added to accommodate the wiring. Notice also that another piece of foam-board is used to build up the area where the Boe-Bot will be mounted, and that recessed areas are used to ensure that the wheels will have suf cient clearance. This is easily done because foam-board can be cut with a razor blade or hobby knife. A piece of thin rubber was glued to the top of the foam-board body and allowed to stick out an inch or so around the edges. The four bumpers were glued to the protruding rubber around the edge of the robot as shown in Fig. 17.4. If the rubber is too stiff you may have to make small cuts between the bumpers and the body so that the bumpers ex easily. In our case, we also had to cut the front and rear bumpers in half so that they could move more freely (the two pieces are wired in parallel so they still appear to be one bumper electrically). After the glue that holds the bumpers to the foam has dried, the excess foam should be trimmed away. Figure 17.4 also shows how the Boe-Bot body mounts to the foam-board. Notice also the brass tube that passes through the very center of the robot (originally used by Parallax to feed wires to the top of the robot). A felt tip marker can be placed in this tube if you want the robot to draw as it moves (see Chap. 10). A pen used in this way cannot be raised and lowered as it does in our simulations, but this capability could be added by the creative hobbyist using a solenoid (or servomotor). We raised the Boe-Bot s circuit board (see later gures) to make room for such a modi cation should it be desired in the future.
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