Bristlebot mod never rubs you the wrong way

controllable_bristlebot

[Underling] sent in his bristlebot project that aims to put a new spin on controlling bristlebot movement. We have seen several attempts at bristlebot directional control in the past, but none of these methods really fit what he wanted to do. His goal was to use a single brush rather than two, and be able to aim the bot in any direction at will.

He tried several different designs, but settled on what you see in the picture above. The large brush head is fitted with a vibrating motor on the front as well as a cell phone battery near the midsection.  These pieces are placed in the center plane of the brush as to not influence the direction of movement.  A separate servo-like motor is placed on the back of the brush, and each side of the motor’s arm is attached to a paddle that extends down the sides of the brush. When the motor is activated, one paddle is pressed in towards the bristles, while the other paddle is pulled away. This causes an immediate shift in direction, and should provide for a relatively tight turn radius. It should be noted that he also took the time to remove bristles from the center of the brush where the steering paddles are located in order to improve turning performance.

Unfortunately [Underling] does not currently have a video camera with which to show off his work, but we hope to see some action footage in the near future.

Comments

  1. derwin says:

    i wonder how he controls the robot.

    do both the drive and steer motors run at the same time causing the robot to move in a sine wave-like pattern?

  2. strider_mt2k says:

    The picture doesn’t show anything attached to the control motor, so I’m going to hazard a guess that it uses a wired control, at least for now.

    Pretty clever. I like bristle bot hacks!

  3. twopartepoxy says:

    i don’t want to sound too critical here but,
    without video, i’m not really feeling it.

  4. Underling says:

    @ derwin
    At the moment the steering runs with jumpers connected to a battery. I’ve designed a wireless controller for it but don’t have the funds to build it right now.

  5. Max says:

    @Underling: If cash is an issue, you might consider using IR control – any TV remote control could be used as a sender (my preferred one is the good old RC5 protocol), and the receiving end costs literally pennies (IR receiver + literally any MCU – I’ve done it with the venerable PIC16F84). But hey, it’s your brush… ;)

  6. strider_mt2k says:

    One could modify cheap remote control vehicle guts with some relays to get the basic control you need for that thing.

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