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Tech Thursday

Tech Thursday #026: Vectoring Robots

Vectoring movement is achieved through a sum of forces generated by each wheel. SuperDroid Robots offers many vectoring robots on its online store. We also have a support page for vectoring robots which details the theory of operation. Two main types of wheels are used. Figure 1: Omni wheels have smaller rollers on the edges that move completely perpendicular to the wheel itself. With this type of...

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Tech Thursday

Tech Thursday #025: Power Drivers and Distribution

One of the first electrical decisions that must be made when building a robot is how you are going to power it and how you are going to get that power to where it needs to be. Here at SuperDroid Robots we strive to make this as simple as possible with a wide range of power distribution, drivers, and wiring kits. Power Drivers Power drivers are crucial in any robotic system even when you are only u...

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Tech Thursday

Tech Thursday #024: Basic Drilling Procedures for All Robot Builders

Today’s Tech Thursday will cover some basic drilling and countersinking procedures.  We have added a few new parts to our store to aid in building robots. We have 3/32 inch drill bits (T-023-032) that are used to drill a hole for a #2 machine screw. It is also the right size to tap a 4-40 thread.  Our ATR hardware package (TD-021-000) contains #2 and #4 screws which makes a 3/32″ drill bit a...

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Tech Thursday

Tech Thursday #023: Wireless Robot Control with an xBee

When you want to take your robot wireless but want to take it a step past R/C, an xBee is a prime candidate. The system works over 2.4GHz, similar to WiFi but what it provides is a simple wireless serial bridge. Meaning you can send a packet to the module and it’ll appear at the outputs of all xBees on that network. You don’t have to worry about subnets and IP addresses or any other ne...

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Tech Thursday

Tech Thursday #022: Sending a Message, Chicken Coop – Part 2

Part 2 of our chicken coop home automation project is sending a message to your phone or to your email from an Arduino! What good is a home automation project if it does not notify you if something is wrong or if the status of something is changing, etc. This is a continuation of our Home Automation Chicken Coop – Part 1. This is Part 2 of a multi part posting of the chicken coop home automa...

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Tech Thursday

Tech Thursday #021: Arduino Stepper Motor Control

Today’s Tech Thursday will cover how to control a stepper motor using a stepper motor driver and an Arduino. Stepper motors have the useful property of moving through discrete, precise angular steps, allowing them to be positioned without any encoder feedback required. They also tend to be less expensive than servos, making them a good option for position control. Stepper Motor Wiring How to go ab...

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Tech Thursday

Tech Thursday #020: Motor Controller Selection and Sizing

A common question we get ask is “What motor controller should I use?”. There are two main criteria you need to look at: communication protocols and current capacity. The first isn’t a big issue with modern motor controllers since most have such a wide range of inputs spanning analog control, R/C, to serial. However, it’s worth noting that it doesn’t matter how much cu...

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Tech Thursday

Tech Thursday #019: A Fun Tracked Robot with a Arduino

We had fun building this robot. He may look familiar… We started with MLT-JR custom length tracks and added a simple shell and head. The motors are driven with a Sabertooth 2×5 Motor Controller. All the parts (other than the drive train) were made with our 3D printers. Then we gave it a quick paint job. We embedded two IR sensors on the front and put a Arduino in the middle cavity to dr...

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Tech Thursday

Tech Thursday #018: How to couple motor shafts to components

Today’s Tech Thursday topic is an explanation of how we make our shafts, sprockets and gears couple to motor output shafts.  There are several different methods we use depending on the application.  Here’s how we have the most success. Light Duty Torque Applications –  Set screw to the flat side of the shaft. All of our standard motors have a D shaft.  Either 6mm, 8mm, or 12mm.  We drill out...

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Tech Thursday

Tech Thursday #017: How to Remotely Start/Stop Your Lawn Mower

Today’s Tech Thursday topic is using RC switches to hack your lawn mower for a remote start and stop. We’ve done this with our 4WD remote control lawn mower and our Remote Control snow blower. Here’s how we did it. We used the following components: Spektrum DX6 Controller with AR6210 Receiver Pololu RC Switch Relay Board (you can use a 5V relay) Servo pigtails The RC switch is needed to comm...

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