This project was inspired by the BEAM robotics projects that I worked on when I was working; simple circuits that perform simplistic tasks such as seeking light (BEAM robots are typically solar powered) and object avoidance.
This robot is a modular design, with its behaviour controlled by a combination of add-on PCBs. The first two modules allow for edgebot and photovore behaviour.
The photovore module (literally translates to “Light-eater”) is a board that causes the robot to move in the direction of the brightest light source. The photovore circuit uses a comparator to compare the signals of two LDRs and the output causes the motors to turn in order to constantly face and drive towards the light.
The edgebot module that makes the robot reverse and turn when it drives into an object. The circuit comprises of a single touch sensor, two RC timers and a small amount of logic. The touch sensor is mounted at the front of the robot, the RC circuits are time delays for how long the motors reverse for (one reverses longer than the other in order to turn). The logic chips are designed to allow for the logic expansion brought by the addition of the photovore board so that the robot seeks light until it encounters an object, then it'll reverse and move around the object (unless the object is the light source).
The chassis is laser cut from 3mm material and designed to be assembled with just an allen key.
This project is in a state of partial completion as it was a learning platform for electrical circuit design and designing lasercut designs for assembly.