Hey! This thing is still a Work in Progress. Files, instructions, and other stuff might change!

Meshbot 1

by JamieLaing, published

Meshbot 1 by JamieLaing Dec 30, 2012
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3692Views 935Downloads Found in Robotics


This is a small robot chassis designed for use with the Pololu 30T Tank Track set and the related micro motors. Piggybacking on robots I built before I got a 3D printer, the wireless communication between drones and central command uses Xbee antennas, which have some really handy mesh features.


Here is the latest. I thought I would spare you the daily updates and just post major changes. I've got the edge detection sensor mounts in, but I haven't built the upper compartment that contains the brain, nor the IR sensor array that makes up the head. I hope to eventually support Arduino, Arduino Mega, Raspberry Pi, Beaglebone, and Beagleboard XM, and a custom board I am designing based on the ATMEGA328P-PU. My short-term focus is Arduino Mega. More coming soon.

I spent a fair amount of time modeling a battery case that allows the batteries to be easily changed from the bottom of the bot, like those hatches you see in battery powered toy cars and such, but I'm not happy with how those are printing so far. I had a nice looking version that was really hard to service because the part was overly complicated, so I'm now targeting a rotating latch that goes on with a screw. I'm going with a design that will allow a person to choose 4AA or 8AA configurations using battery housings from Radio Shack. Tread Housing v2.1.stl going up now.

Updated the STL, although I would not recommend printing it yet, as I'm still working out the mounting for 4AA batteries and an Arduino controller. I'm also not sure if I'll be using a regular or mega sized Arduino controller, which will depend on how fast my custom motor controller board comes along.

I noticed that the motors are sticking out a little too far, which leaves the rotary encoders too far away from the wheel teeth to get a good rotation measurement. I'll fix that in my next version.

First post and upload. Next to add will be mounting holes for a pair of Pololu quadrature encoders, and mounting area for some batteries and a microcontroller.

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Looking good. You might want to build in some slack adjustment for the tracks. They tend to loosen up and stretch with use. I switched to the longer tracks and added a second idler wheel one one of my bots.

Thanks AUGuru. I haven't noticed these particular treads loosening up, but I will keep an eye out for that.