The Rutgers IEEE Robotics club is proud to announce a brand new line following robot kit for the 2010-2011 school year. This kit is easier to both assemble and program. It features an Arduino Decimilia brain board, a Line following Robot Shield, a Line sensor board, and Solarbotics GM9 motors and wheels. It includes everything you need to get your robot up and running. All you need to do is supply the chassis and write your own line following program.
This kit is the cheapest and most customizable robotics kit possible. To assemble the kit, all you need to do is solder through-hole components. It is suitable for beginners who have never soldered before and for masters who want a quick platform with which to build their robot. We will be holding Workshop sessions each week at the start of the semester to teach people how to assemble and program their kit.
The Line following shield sits on top of the Arduino board and provides a clean interface to the Arduino microcontroller for your motors and line sensor. The line following shield includes a motor driver to control your GM8 motors. The line following board uses a IR Emitter and Phototransistor pair to accurately and easily locate the line.
As you can see from the below parts list, Rutgers IEEE line following kit is a steal: we bought in bulk, received discounts, and custom-designed the sensor bar and line follower shield. You will not be able to find a cheaper line following kit that is as easy-to-assemble or as customizable as this Arduino-based kit. The club provides the tools, instruction, and advice for free. If you are interested in purchasing a kit and attending the IEEE Line Following Workshop, please sign up using Sign up form in the Fall of 2011
We have made a pdf of the soldering instructions. You can download it here.
Software Instructions The first step is to check out the Hello Seeduino Document. This document was compiled by Seeduino Studios for their Arduino clone which we have used in this Line Following Kit. This will get you used to programming your arduino.
Testing Your Boards
Next, it is time to test out the electronics, the motor driver and line sensor, included with your line following robot kit. To do so, download our Line Follower Testing Sketch. The main logic of this program is in a switch statement in the Loop function which allows you to send the arduino commands. The arduino will continually wait for a key input to tell it to read a sensor or to move the motors forward or backward.
It is important that you use this sketch to test your robot. You need to test that your sensor values and the motor commands make sense. The sensors should read a high value when places 0.25" over a white surface and a low value over a black surface. The exact values don't matter and will be highly variable. All that matters is that there is a sharp drop in the sensor readings when it is placed over the black line. To read your the sensors, send 0-4 to the arduino. To test the motors, send 'f' for forwardand 'r' for reverse.
Once you are sure that all of your components are working, it is now time to build your line follower chassis. Draw inspiration from the line followers below to make your chassis. Then download this demo program and try your line follower out with it connected to the computer. This program continously looks for the white sensor value under its sensors and moves forward. When placed over the black line, it will move forward until a side sensor sees the line. Then, it will veer back towards the line until it no longer sees the black value. For this program to work, you may need to adjust the speed of the line follower so that it doesnt move too quickly off the line. Addtionally, you may need to adjust the line_threshhold value.
Important Downloads :
People have used everything from professional-grade 3D-printers to chinese takeout boxes to build a chassis for their line following kit:
An Arduino Diecimila clone. See arduino.cc for more information.
Purchased From: NKC Electronics
|GM9 Motors & Wheels||
Purchased From: Solarbotics
|Line Follower Shield||
Purchased From: Rutgers IEEE (Schematic)
|Line Follower Sensor||
Purchased From: Rutgers IEEE (Schematic)
This board uses RPR-220 Sensors (Datasheet)