While they are not nearly as complex as their self-navigating brethren, building line following robots is no simple task, especially when they are this small. The creation of [Ondřej Staněk], this matchbox-sized line following robot is quite impressive.
PocketBot’s 48mm x 32mm circuit board also acts as its frame, supporting the wheels, motors, microcontroller and more. The brains of the operation is an ATmega8 microcontroller mounted on the bottom of the bot. A pair of wheels are driven independently using a set of mobile phone vibration motors that power the bot at speeds of up to 0.35 meters per second. Line detection is achieved by using three different IR sensors paired with four IR emitters located at the front end of the bot.
PocketBot also has an IR receiver on its top side, which allows [Ondřej] to control the robot, tweak its parameters, or calibrate its sensors on the fly using an IR remote or his computer.
The PocketBot might not be the absolute smallest line following bot we’ve seen, but it’s pretty darn close!
Continue reading to see PocketBot in action.