Try As You Might, Scooty Won’t Fall Over

Scooty is a balancing robot based around a PIC32. The project is the first iteration in a long road toward a ridable version. The video after the break shows some incredible promise. Scooty is pitted against a large rubber ball. The two roll into each other but Scooty maintains balance thanks to that powerful processor, an inertial sensor, and a range finder.

Scooty versus a ball isn’t really fair to the ball. We’d like to see Scooty versus the ball balancing robot.


[via Tom’s Guide]

20 thoughts on “Try As You Might, Scooty Won’t Fall Over

  1. I’m sure it is an impressive robot. But I couldn’t watch more than a few seconds of it. Had to pause it because of the horrid “music”. Why do people do that?

  2. does it look like those motors have gearboxes or are the wheels mounted directly on the shaft? I can’t tell… i guess directly mounting on the shaft would mean there’s less play in the system, but it’s not very practcial if it can’t climb a ramp… not that it’s very important if this is a proof-of-concept. cool stuff!

  3. They say they use motors directly coupled to the wheels. There is a number of reasons why it is interesting to get rid of the gears in something like this, because cheap gears have usually game, have big losses and sometimes they are even irreversible. The thing is motors, specially DC motors, are usually meant for really high speeds so it may not be very good for the motors to make them work this way at nearly zero speed. I don’t really know if there exist DC motors meant for low speeds, I don’t think so.

    Speaking about the idea of building a bigger machine to carry things, to carry people, the best choice would be to use permanent magnet synchronous motors with a large number of pole pairs. They used to be very expensive but they are becoming cheaper with time, the thing is that the ones you can find maybe they are too powerful. Does somebody know what’s the rating of the motors that would be needed?

  4. @Robert Green: If you define the Chemical Brothers as ‘horrid “music”‘ then I pity you and you need to get out more.

    That said, it doesn’t add anything to this video..

  5. The PIC32 is a serious chip. It doesn’t do much besides balance right now but I think they can add a TON of functionality with very little architecture redesign given how strong the base platform is.

    @diego/Robert Green
    That’s a great cut. I don’t know how you can complain about it when there’s a little mute button at the bottom, just like every YouTube video ever released.

  6. That robot is great. I was also concerned about the life of the motors, especially when adding weight to the design (like a person).

    As for the music, I turned it down about 3/4 of the way and it was nice background sound. In my opinion that’s better than watching a silent film.

  7. Scale it up and put a bulletproof shield in front and it might be handy for airport security and such (the guys from mythbusters might go for it too) to move behind towards someone or thing that went explosive, handier than a handheld shield or a one on a trolley since you can move freely and get the hell out of there while the shield takes care of itself covering your rear.
    And then you have a product you can sell.

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