For any hobbyist, in microcontroller based designs, the micromouse is the qualifying project. The micromouse is nothing but an autonomous robot, which is required to solve a maze in the minimum time possible. I started with the design of the chassis. I wrote some papers on it too.
I started off with two such toys as shown on the left. This is a simple tumble car toy with one DC motor that makes it run in one direction with speed depending upon the motor voltage. From this, all i wanted was the gearbox so that I can reduce the speed and have better torque. I got the wheels as a bonus, so I did’nt have to design them. Afterall money saved is money earned. Next comes the cutting and shedding part. I LOVE ripping the guts out of anything electronic and/or mechanical. So what to do next? Open it up ofcourse.
After removing the top cover, I get this. Now If I want my robo to move around, Im going to need a differential geared motor with friction switched gears, OR- two motors and two sets of gear boxes. There goes another toy car! I then cut off the unnecessary set of wheels and shafts to get a reduced geared wheel set. I will have two of these so that I have the ability to steer.