Making an Obstacle Avoiding Robot Using Arduino at Home
Robotics plays a significant role in the government's "Make in India" that aims to attract global giants to manufacture in the country. Robotics takes center stage due to the country's veritable powerhouse of industrial and engineering talent.
When paired with artificial intelligence, machine learning, and computing, robotics has the power to create a better digital India. Various robots are at work today like an obstacle avoiding robot in homes, schools, malls, and even manufacturing facilities. Automation due to Robotics is projected to grow at a CAGR of 12% in the upcoming days, which is excellent news for the country.
STEM, Robotics, and Children
Conventionally, science and maths are the common subjects being taught at schools. However, the children lack the opportunity and recognition that comes with STEM. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics; therefore, we need to introduce the children to Engineering and Technology.
Robotics is one of the most creative ways to introduce technology to children, and it can expose them to hands-on industrial and innovative technologies. In addition, robotics can help the children understand the fundamentals, and it will cultivate a genuine interest in these complicated subjects.
Activities like building an Obstacle avoiding robot using Arduino can foster imagination. Although it is difficult to grasp the concepts of photovoltaics, programming, and ratios are difficult for children, Robotics can ultimately get them curious about the basics.
Today, scientists and engineers have been instrumental in creating an obstacle-avoiding robot, and this technology has reached new heights. There is a lot of real-time usage of such robots, and the technology is in the stage of continuous up-gradation.
For instance, Tesla's new auto-drive car can identify obstacles and automatically avoid them. Similar technology is also being used towards building autonomous robots, which is slowly gaining momentum across the globe.
The design and development of robots that can automatically avoid obstacles are set up using electronic sensors and programming languages for the robot to be navigated in real-time. Such models are smart enough to sense and prevent hindrance on their path.
Introduction to Arduino
A decade ago, technology involved working with expensive lab equipment, physics, mathematics, and electronics. However, the world has a different picture today. Most of the factors apart from electronics are irrelevant now, and Arduino has made it possible for electronics to reach everyone irrespective of their economic status.
Arduino is based on easy-to-use software and hardware that combines electronics with an open-source prototype. It is essentially a microcontroller that can develop automated digital devices like switching on an LED, playing songs through a speaker, or controlling lighting in a room.
The Arduino board consists of a USB plug to connect your computer and connection sockets to be wired to external devices. As it is quite simple, Arduino can be used extensively by hobbyists, designers, and small-time engineers alike. Furthermore, Arduino is based on an open-source electronics project, and the boards are commercially available.
Arduino Projects for Kids
Using Arduino, kids interested in STEM can build several projects. Arduino boards are super exciting and accessible for all ages. However, kids must learn through hands-on activities to get them more interested in making and manipulating electronics.
As far as robotics is concerned, children can do several Arduino activities. For example, with Arduino UNO, children can build their electronic die that randomly lights up until it stops at a random number.
Similarly, Arduino fans can build mBot Mega Robot with a strong motor-driving ability with 10 servos, 8 DC Motors, and 4 stepper motors. A simple interactive robot can also be made with 3D printed parts and Arduino programming.
Children can also indulge in building a portable SMS device using Arduino that can send and receive texts. However, the most exciting project is building an Obstacle avoiding robot using Arduino.
Obstacle avoiding robot using Arduino
Robotics is a fast-growing field, and the applications of robotics are increasing with the rapid improvement in technology.
Although the concept of mobile robots has a myriad amount of complexities, it is fast-evolving. Various mobile robot navigation techniques include path planning and map interpreting. However, obstacle avoiding robot using Arduino is the most talked about, and it is quite easy to build.
The obstacle avoiding robot circuit diagram consists of Arduino Uno, Ultrasonic Range Finder Sensor - HC - SR04, Motor Driver IC, Servo Motor Tower Pro SG90, 2 Geared Motors, Robot Chassis, Power Supply, Battery Connector, and Battery Holder.
Therefore, keeping the obstacle avoiding robot circuit diagram in your brain is necessary to understand its working.
It is an ATmega 328p Microcontroller-based prototyping that can be used with various sensors and actuators. 6 pins out of the 14 digital input-output pins will be used to make the robot.
HC - SR04
Your ultrasonic range finder sensor is a distance measurement system to measure distance in the range of 2cm to 4m.
This component provides the bi-directional drive current for the motors.
The motor will help in rotating the device 90 degrees in each direction.
Designing the Robot
Arduino is the most essential part of the robot. Therefore, 7 out of the available 14 input-output pins are used in designing the Robot. The ultrasonic sensor will use 4 pins, namely VCC, Trig, Echo, and Gnd. VCC and Gnd will be connected to the +5v and Arduino pin, and Trig will be connected to the 9th pin. In addition to that, Echo will be connected to the 8th pin of Arduino.
The servo motor you fixate will rotate the Ultrasonic sensor to scan for obstacles. It contains 3 pins - Control, VCC, and Gnd - connected to the 11th pin of the Arduino, +5V, and Gnd. L293D has 16 pins, out of which Pin 1 and Pin 9 are enable pins.
It would help if you connected these pins to +5V. Similarly, Pins 2 and 7 control all the microcontroller inputs and need to be connected to Pins 6 and 7 of Arduino. Pins 10 and 15 are control inputs from the second motor connected to Pins 5 and 4 of the Arduino. In addition to that, you need to connect Gnd to the ground pins, which are Pins 4, 5, 12, and 13 of L293D.
The first motor will be connected to Pins 3 and 6 of L293D, and the second motor will act as the right wheel motor. Thus, the second motor will be connected to Pins 11 and 14. The final pin, Vcc1, is connected to +5V, and the 8th pin is connected to Vcc2.
You need to keep the connection anywhere between 4.7V and 36V. Note that you need to keep a separate power supply for Pins 1, 8 (Vcc2), 9, and 16 (Vcc1).
The obstacle avoiding robot using Arduino does not require any Motor Shield, and the programming can be easily modified. You can also use an IR transmitter instead of an ultrasonic sensor and two 9V batteries to power the robot. The obstacle avoiding robot that you make at home can be used in mobile robot navigation systems, automatic vacuum cleaning, and assembling projects.