Homebuilt Turtlebot

Date Tue 25 June 2013

The bigger and slightly less hacked together brother to my Autonomous Roomba is the Turtlebot. If you haven't heard of the Turtlebot, just let me say that it is probably the coolest creation of hobby and research robotics.


The downside is that the ready to go kits are pretty expensive at around $1000, which puts it out of the range for most hobbiests. If you have been here before, then you know what happened next. Here's the BOM for my homebuilt turtlebot. You end up spending a bit more on the mini-ITX board but this board has the advantage of comming with a built in step-up power regulator. That let's me get away with running it off of an 11.1V LiPo. Most of the boards I found needed 19V to run which means you would need to spend more ...

Hacked Roomba Motors and Related Robots

Date Sat 27 April 2013

I acquired a broken 5XX series iRobot Roomba courtesy of FUBAR Labs and decided to tear it apart to see what useful parts I could harvest. I ended up with many IR emitters/receivers, power FETs with heatsinks, but the biggest surprise was the motors. I expected to get some relativly low cost motors with an equally cheap encoder. Instead, I got two nice geared motors with digital encoders!

Some tests with the motors showed that they were geared 1:64 and ~90rpm at 12V. The motor has a radial magnet hall effect encoder with 8-bit resolution (265 ticks). In the video, I am using an arduino to count encoder ticks with a rising interrupt and PID control to make to motor turn one revolution. The scope is showing the ...


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