- Smaller footprint than previous full wheelchair chassis implementation
- Stable enough to move in all directions at full speed with acceleration control
- Stable enough to drive over small bumps, and able to be picked up over larger bumps (handles)
- Contains no loose components, with all electronics and cables neatly assembled
- Implement 3D printed designs where possible to reduce cost and weight
- Establish a method for connecting prototype electronics subsystems together
- Implement magnetic encoders for odometry
- Create an illusion of life with animatronic features like lights, sounds and servo movements
- Create a robust wireless communication system for tele-operation
- Acceleration control for main drive movements
- Multiple control modes for different environments (laboratory, exhibition, autonomous, etc.)
- Seamless interface with a web server for main controls.
- Optimized serial data transfer, wired and wireless.
Notes on scope:
The scope of the project has been redefined multiple times at this point. Much like a pendulum I have been swayed during my research about what the right path is for my skill level.
I know that I want to experiment with different methods of control and employ some autonomous features like obstacle avoidance with distance sensors. I have played around with the idea of adding a more powerful computer for machine vision and LiDAR scanning. This would be an expensive addition to an otherwise budget-focused project. Of course, it already feels expensive when resources like money and time are limited but that is beside the point.
I believe that it would be a better test of new sensors to implement more complicated mapping methods on a different robotic system entirely; one that I can build in the future. This new system would be more mobile and better suited to experimentation.
Each robot I build after this will utilize the learnings of creation before. Therefore it is important to perfect the basics first.
For this project, I will focus on creating seamless experience for the operator and provide a solid repairable platform that is low-budget in nature.
The final product will have removable body panels, moving animatronics features and handles for moving the robot around.
Its design will be concentrated around maintenance and ease of use. The software developed for this project will be a starting point for mobile robots I build in the future.