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Self-Made-Robot: Bill of Materials

By Sebastian Günther

Posted in Robots

Let’s begin the adventure to build an own robot!

In this article, I will explain the estimated bill of materials for my custom robot. This estimation is important in one way, and introspective in another. Its importance is the preparation of constructing the robot: Creating the design and to boil it down to all required materials. And its introspective in the way as it can be used to compare planning vs. implementation - what will be the differences from the plan vs. the actual robot?

Grand Design

The robot is a 4 wheeled vehicle with two solid board. In the lower compartment, I want to place power supply and the microcontroller for the wheels. On the top compartment, the central single board computer and all sensors are placed.

At the time of writing, I decide to use components which are well-established products: They have a broad user base, as indicated by a great number of projects, code examples and tutorials. This decision should make the project success more feasibly, and keep the motivation high if I run into problems - assuming that somebody else, somewhere, also had the same problem, so I just need to find the solution.

Therefore, the main computer hardware will be a Raspberry Pi3 single-board computer connected to an Arduino Rev v3 to which the motors and sensors will be connected. On the Raspberry Pi3, I will install a robotic middleware software, and connect via WLAN to my Linux server. The Arduino will be connected to the Raspberry Pi3, both devices can communicate via direct wired UART or serial-over-USB.

All other hardware, the gear motors, additional servos and stepper, sensors and eventually a camera, will be determined at the time of buying.

The distinct parts and their components are described in the next sections.

Core Computer

  • Raspberry Pi3B
  • Power bank and batteries for power supply

Movement

  • Arduino Uno Rev3
  • 4WD chassis
  • 4x geared motors
  • 1x L293D motor drive shield
  • Breadboard

Onboard Interfaces

  • RGB Backlight LCD 16x2
  • Speakers

Obstacle Detection / Camera

  • 1x servo motors (MG-90S)
  • 1x L293D motor drive shield
  • HC-SR04 UltraSonic Sensor
  • USB Web-Cam

Arm

  • Arduino Uno Rev03
  • 4x - 6x servo or stepper motors
  • 2x 1x L293D motor drive shield
  • Breadboard

Manufacturing Tools

  • Soldering station
  • Vise station
  • Electric fine-detail mill
  • Tons of cables, screws etc.

Conclusion

This bill of materials covers the initial list of items that should make up the first robot. I'm curious to see how it will hold up against the real implementation. And also, I'm looking forward to see what concrete motor and sensors the robot prototype will have.