SwARM, first week

Hi everyone,

For the next few months, Paul, Perceval and I will design and build SwARM : a swarm of moving robots able to dance together.  Our goal is to create something artistic, as we’ll probably spend the rest of our lives making useful things.

This week we work all together trying to figure out precisely what we want to create. We started by defining what our robot are going to be able to do, and what to minimal requirements are. The hardest part was to put figures in the specification, like top speed or battery life. We also created a first version of the PSSC.

On Friday we presented our work and received a lot of useful feedbacks. We realized that BLE won’t work for SwARM, so we’ll switch to simple RF modules and design to protocole ourself !

I also started to look for parts in order to estimate the unit cost, and therefore the number of robots we’ll make with our budget. Here is what I found :

  • motors : 2 unit for 2.60e
  • battery : 1.8e for 2500mAh single element Li-Ion
  • RF module : 1.2e for nRF24L01+ transceiver
  • MCU : less than 1.20e
  • RGB LEDs : between 1 and 2e
  • rotatory encoders : less than 1.4e for 2

Of course some key parts are missing but the these should be the most expensive ones. And this is only an early estimate, but it shows it should be possible to build 20-25 robots, and that’s a good news.


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