Robot "babycloud"


Babycloud is a line following robot based on the excellent book "Robot building for beginners" by David Cook. It is capable to follow a dark or light line on a light or dark sufrace respectively.

the robot

I built this project during the summer of 2006 as an introduction into robotics. Puting knowledge and advice I gathered from both David Cook's books into works was a great adventure that lasted a very long time. I have read his books several months before I bought my first electronics components, tools and materials, which means that I had a lot of time dreaming about how I would like to build my own version of a line following robot. Surprisingly enough, the final shape and the idea of the looks of the robot came very late during the construction phase.

Although a line following robot is not an exciting robot to build in modern times, I believe it is a good project for a newbie into robotics because you learn how to put together the most basic concepts of a machine that has a mind of its own.

On the video below, you can watch the robot follow a short circuit. You can observe some similarities and differences from the line following robot that Cook tutors you to build in his book. While "sandwich" has an illuminating tube across its motors, I have put some LEDs under a wax hood to create the sensantion of a rainy cloud with a couple of lightnings striking periodically. Also, my version moves a bit slower.

In order to see the guts of this little robot please browse the photobook page.

Video of the robot in action

Robot Characteristics

locomotion: Two reversible gearhead 12VDC motors regulated at 6V for speed adjustment
wheels: Tamiya narrow tire set (58mm diameter, 16mm width)
sensors: A pair of two photoresistors (CdS cells)
brains: Dual voltage comparator (LM393)
weight: About 700g (including batteries)
dimensions: Length 24cm, height 16cm, width 19cm
power source: Two 9V batteries (can run with one, but two in parallel configuration give it more life and LEDs dont flicker when motors start)
speed: Average speed of 0.16m/s (as measured on the track pictured in the photobook page)
Track is 6.13m.