As planned, I worked on our robot mechanical structure since Monday. The goal is to create the best solution with the following constraints (most important first) :
- The robot should be able to move in various flat grounds
- The robot should be as stable as possible
- The robot should be able to reach 0.7m/s
- The robot should be as quick as possible to build (since we will need to build 20-25 of them)
- The robot should be as cheap as possible
So I needed to find the best balance between a stable and quick robot (that would be easy if it could be big) and a cheap and easy to make one. Indeed the 3D printed parts needs to be as small as possible to be printed in a reasonable amount of time and to use a minimal quantity of PLA to keep the cost down.
Here is the design I came up with for the first prototype. To give you a sense of proportion the balloon is 400mm in diameter.
The “antennas” we can see on the top are meant to hold LED strips in contact with a ballon (each of the 4 pieces of strip holds 2 RGB LEDs). The light will be then diffused by the balloon, as demonstrated a few weeks ago.
Some rectangular holes are also open underneath the robot for aluminium strips that will get in contact with a rail, allowing the robot to charge its battery automatically. The rail is yet to be designed and we’ll tell you more in the next few weeks.
By the end of the week I will make a first prototype to test this design.