Major Milestones
May 7, 2013
Public Presentation
Please check out our promotional video cataloging the progress of this academic year. Thanks to all who contributed!

Team E RooBots

April 30, 2013

Final RooBot prototype completed, assembled, and tested

The final RooBot prototype was completed after many long hours of hard work. The mechanical assembly and chassis were assembled, with some minor tuning to the configuration and tweaks made to the foot. The shell took 10 hours to fabricate in the 3D printer, not including the many parts that failed. Software control flow and error-handling cases were tested, re-tested, and made even more robust. See the final roobot below.

Earlier today, RooBot was put through the final validation test. Our evaluators looked on, clipboards in hand, as RooBot was beaten, broken, and pushed to its limits in the obstacle course that we set up. A video of this will be posted later.

April 27, 2013

Full CAD model completed

A full CAD model of RooBot has been completed with final assembly and fabrication to be still to be completed. See pictures below.

April 11, 2013

Wireless controller

As mentioned in ILR 8, we faced issues because of connections between the chassis and the circuit of the controller. So, a new wireless controller was designed and 3D printed. This new controller has better connectors that connect wires from the buttons and the switch to the transmission circuit of the controller. The controller was designed considering that the following features should be reflected in the user interface system:
1. The controller should have all required input commands (4 buttons for planar movement, power switch, power acknowledgment LED, CHARGE button, JUMP button).
2. More room for the transmission circuit of the controller.
3. A separate battery compartment so that the complete circuit is not exposed while changing batteries.
4. The edges of the controller are curved for user safety. The controller has a better grip for human hands (inspired by the existing video game controllers).

April 10, 2013

Some weight reduction and leaf spring stabilization 

We're continuously finding ways to reduce the weight of our robot, and even simple things like removing a few grams here and there make a noticeable difference. Our current quest is to eliminate as much metal in the robot as possible. An example of this is replacing all the aluminum leaf spring mounting brackets with ABS plastic ones.

An interesting issue we were having, pointed out by our mechanical advisor Ben Brown, was that the standoffs we use to mount the top of the leaf springs to were prone to free rotation when the screws loosen over time. This was solved by fabricating some plastic pieces that restrict movement as shown below (the green piece in the middle of the right image):

April 4, 2013

RooBot jumping test 

Video below is of RooBot demonstrating 30 in. jump (without battery and shell) with tethered power supply.

RooBot - 30 in. jump

Videos below are of RooBot demonstrating 12 in. jump and self-righting mechanism (with battery and shell) with untethered power supply.

RooBot jumping 12 inches

RooBot jump

Mar 31, 2013

Second PCB m
anufactured and assembled 

We manufactured the PCB and soldered the parts onto the PCB. A picture is shown below.

February 14, 2013

First prototype shell

Today we demonstrated the first prototype shell which is able of doing orientation recovery in  
all directions. This means that it should enable the robot to fall back to the standard launch 
position after landing on its side, upside-down, or any angle in between. 
The figure below shows the completed new spherical shell combined with parts of the rotation and jumping mechanism

January 31, 2013

Initial self-right design

The team demonstrated mock-up designs for the self-righting and the rotation mechanisms of the system along with a stable dual fiberglass spring jumping mechanism. The video below shows the demonstration:

RooBot Demonstration Jan 31,2013

January 24, 2013

Improved jumping mechanism

The video below shows the the jumping of RooBot after the following improvements were made on the design demonstrated during the validation experiment in Fall '12:
  1. Reduce friction on the shaft of the spring clutch mechanism
  2. Improve spring clutch release mechanism (servo actuation was replaced by passive releasing)
  3. Add a better traction base to the jumping chassis
  4. Reduce weight (temporary the battery and electronics were removed to compensate for the estimate weight for the next design)

Single fiberglass spring jump after improvements (Spring'13)

December 3, 2012

Fall semester validation experiment

The team performed the validation experiment today for the jumping toy robot, RooBot. It's the culmination of an entire semester's worth of research, design, and fabrication. The RooBot performed less ideally than expected, but managed to reach a maximum height of 7 inches above the ground (target was 30 inches).

Team E - RooBot v1.0

System video

YouTube Video

November 19, 2012


Today we demonstrated the "pre-prototype" design of the RooBot.  This included wirelessly commanding the RooBot over Xbee to start winding the fiberglass spring and subsequently release the clutch.  This design represents a major milestone in our development and will inform our final prototype set to be completed for our team's fall deliverable on December 3. The Figure below shows the mechanical design of the "pre-prototype".