applications and implications


Propose a final project masterpiece that integrates the range of units covered, answering:

What will it do?

I would like to provide the basic components for a modular Open Source robot system. I want to enable motivated hobbyists to easily build a great variety of inexpensive robots. But that's not all. After you have built one or two robots from the existing parts you can change the basic parts of the robots in a 3D software and print your own parts.
A first sketch can be seen in the first week.
The system and also the electonics should be as open and diverse as possible, so that a wide variety of circuit boards can be installed. The self-developed circuit boards should not be hidden, but also as accessible as possible to understand how they work.

Who's done what beforehand?

There are already different robot systems on the market. I have tried out some of them myself but also often reached the limits where my creativity was limited or the cost of the equipment was too high. The systems can have both advantages and disadvantages. In order to show these as clearly as possible, I have created a table to collect all the relevant data for me.
I have exclusively chosen systems which contain both the building of own robots and the programming.

System can the electronics be expanded can the other parts be expanded has someone made 3D printed parts Flexibility Price
Lego Minstorms EV3 difficult for money yes yes ca 400 - 500 €
Makeblock easy for money no ok ca 100 - 300 €
Fischertechnik Robotics medium for money no ok ca 400 - 500 €

When comparing systems, each has its strengths and weaknesses. They all have a main board which can use different actuators and sensors. It is difficult or impossible to connect these different systems and programs and external sensors. But all of them are very expensive if you want to build big things or want/need multiple robots.

What will you design?

What will I design? Almost anything! All right, all the fun I can handle. I've already started with both electrics and 3D printing. The main block for my robot system I have been working on in many different ways. But I am still looking for the best way to connect the blocks. Furthermore I want to develop adapters for some sensors and actuators. At the electronic department I am working on a special system for the boards where you can create your own adapter and plug it on the motherboard. I also want to build a transport box for the robot so that you can transport the parts and the built robots safely.

What materials and components will be used? Where will they come from? How much will they cost?

Let's take a look at what we need.

The price calculation is for one modular robot set.
But what should contail one set?

3D Printed Parts:
Robot home -> transport box with space for:

What Materials/Components Source Cost
3D printed parts ABS/PLA fablab 30 €
Magnets Magnets shop 20€
Electronic Platse, LED, Resistors, ICs, etc shop/fablab 50€
Robot home Wood fablab 10€

The total costs for a set therefore amount to approx 110€

What parts and systems will be made?

I will manufacture all parts of the system myself, the 3D printed components as well as the circuit boards and the transport box.

What processes will be used?

The basic components of the robot system I will be using the 3D printers and furthermore, I would like to try if it is possible to cast them. The boards will be milled and assembled by myself. The transport box will be produced partly with the lasercutter and partly with the Shaper Origin.

What questions need to be answered?

The first question is how do I develop the system so that the blocks fit well together but still can be easily separated and put together.

What is my user group and what are their requirements for a modular robot system?