Chip-E-lata - Give your Chip-E the meaty upgrades it deserves!
Ever wondered how much hardware you can fit onto a single Chip-E ? This entry to the Chip-E Remix Challenge aims to find out! Will it work? Who knows!
- Two-wheeled rolling
- Laser scanner
- Water firing
- Water turret
All of Chip-E's 3D printed parts have been modified to varying degrees, except for the thin top plate. The added 3D printed parts are aimed at being printer-friendly.
The Head part simply has 2 new holes for attaching the scanner mount block, which is a new part.
The midsection and base are modified include a circular right-hand extrusion for attaching the water turret, a rear extrusion for attaching the water reservoir, and a left-hand extrusion for attaching the pump's base unit.
The foot parts have been redesigned in order to be able to mount two motors pee foot. The positioning of the original foot servo is rotated 90 degrees to make space for the wheel servo. An additional joining bracket has been added to provide rigidity between the two servos.
Finally, a "smile" part has been added to give Chip-E a touch of personality!
The added electrical/mechanical components are:
The main torso parts have been printed!
The next stage will be to get print the leg parts and water turret, and order all the electronics and hardware.
One small thing I missed was the additional mounting holes on the Head component for securing the top part of the water reservoir, but the two holes can easily be drilled out (STL file has been since updated to include these holes).
Chip-e-lata torso parts
Front iso view
Right-hand side, showing turret mounting point
Rear, showing the reservoir holder
Left-hand side, showing water pump mounting point
The planned behaviour of Chip-E-lata is:
1) Scan the room, find a target.
2) If target is close-by, walk over. Otherwise, convert to wheeled mode and drive over.
3) Extinguish fire or get your pet wet!
As Chip-E-lata is packed with hardware, it makes it suitable for anyone wanting to try out basic robot probramming, like simple walking gaits and controlling a pump, but also supports more advance features like two-wheeled balancing and 3D mapping.
Advanced control ideas
1) Get the robot to Balance on two-wheels like an inverted pendulum.
The idea is that the feet can 'jump' into wheeled mode and control can be activated in time to balance. The weight of the water reservoir may be issue, which could be overcome by using minimal minimal water, and/or moving the wheels further towards the rear.
2) Try out simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) algorithms using Intel's powerful new depth camera development kit.
3) Integrate the Chip-E-lata with ROS.
The robot is similar in hardware specs to the TurtleBot3. Your challenge: can you re-use code and features from the TurtleBot3? Can you outperform it?
As this is an experimental design, a few points would be worth considering before sending the files off to print:
- Can the water pump utilise the base unit of the vaccum pump?
- Do the bulky feet still allow space for normal walking (standard Chip-E walking gaits will probably need tweaking)?
- Check reservoir hole positions (should be correct)
- Find out correct scanner base hole distances/sizes (they were only a rough estimate by eye)
- Consider speed/power capabilities of chosen wheel motors
- Water turret pressure / water reach - Water cannon bore might need adjustment
- Power requirements - Can a bigger battery fit in base?
- Add a relay for the pump (should be able to squeeze into the main body)
- Turret passive motion may require changing, consider adding ball bearings and manual position stepping/locking