On one of my shopping trips around North-West London (ON, Canada), I came across this plastic truck toy at a price of CAD $1.00 plus taxes. As a toy it's probably nothing special, just a piece of plastic with wheels but what made me wonder is if it can be used to create a small robot platform. I wasn't sure what this platform will fit better for 'line-follower' or 'obstacle-avoider' project, so I decided to follow already familiar path and turn it into RC vehicle first using nRF24L01 module and RFL remote control. The chassis are rather long so it makes them rather inefficient when it comes to skid stirring (or so I thought). Hence my plan of action is to see how chassis will perform as an RC platform first and if there is a good reason to use them for more complex 'thinking' robot projects. It's nice to know your chassis limitations before you commit time and effort to attaching sensors and other peripheral electronics.
So first things first, the mechanical part. I had to cut off stock wheel holders and attached four micro-motors using Pololu's motor holders/clamps. Four of these motors should provide adequate torque and skid stirring ability to the platform. Next I soldered wires to the motors and ran them from the under-belly to the top side of the vehicle where all of the electronics will be attached.Read More