Presented here as a model RC toy, this low cost platform can carry a feedback camera for firemen, police and the military. Read more
This project's funding goal was not reached on February 15, 2014.
About this project
Offered exclusively to Kickstarters as a 1/6th scale model, “The Mobilizer” can serve as universal self-leveling platform for a multitude of uses.
How does it work?
Controlled by the open source Arduino processor, the “The Mobilizer” is relying on a solid-state gyroscope to continuously adjust its balance. When the center of gravity is tilting away from the axis of support, the gyro tells the CPU to start turning the wheels. beat The acceleration creates enough inertia to bring the unit back in balance. This process is performed up to 10 times a second, until the balancing is as seamless and natural as the standing of a human being. Back to the normal speed, high energy Once paired to the included PS3 controller, the mini vehicle can go forward, back, turn and spin at the touch of a button.
What is it good for? Education! As a robotics kit “The Mobilizer” is a great learning platform for any student of motion control and automation. To start with, the Arduino code will familiarize the user with the I2C interface that connects the Inertial Measurement Unit to the main processor. Secondly, the user will study the PID algorithm that is controlling the speed and acceleration of the two motors actuating the wheels. Next, a “Switch/Case” function is determining the direction of the wheels keeping the vehicle balanced whether in motion or not. The last block of code will teach the user the ins and outs of the hugely popular Bluetooth wireless interface. While it is easy these days to obtain pages and pages of incomprehensible Arduino code, “The Mobilizer” robotics tutorial will include a detailed explanation for each line of code, establishing a strong foundation for anyone interested in modern robotics. We will also explain in great detail the engineering process and the steps we took in order to finalize this vehicle, including the failed designs and the lessons learned from those attempts. If you don’t want to bother with code, wires, nuts and bolts, just pre-order the finished unit and have fun with it. Presented as a 1/6th scale model, the “The Mobilizer” can be a great addition to any collector of highly detailed war machines, or an educational present for a special someone. Do you want to take it further? The open source nature of the project will allow users to adapt it for any hobby or industrial application. You could install a camera or a GPS unit on it, make it autonomous, send it to inspect close quarters or dangerous environments - your ingenuity is the limit. Sure, robots have been assisting firemen, police and the military for years now, but such units are still extremely expensive. Once it is mass-produced, “The Mobilizer” could become game changer in affordable robotics.
Why do we need you? At the moment we do have a balancing prototype but the algorithms and the radio interface can be further improved only with the help of costly outside consultants. Secondly, the electronics that control the unit right now are composed of various modules interfaced by hanging wires. Once the design is finalized all these modules must be integrated in a one PCB unit that will include logic control, radio reception, gyroscope and power management. In order to amortize the engineering costs we must produce a minimum 500-piece batch. Also we need your help because we want to make this vehicle out of aluminum and other impact resistant materials. This will assure a long lasting life for the platform and we will offer all the necessary replacement parts on our site. Such a design implies substantial drafting, engineering and tooling costs. So please support us, without you “The Mobilizer” will simply…. not mobilize.
Order your unit now and plant the seed for what could be a great line of fun, utilitarian and educational robotics!
Risks and challenges
1. Prototype development: There is a risk that the ATmega2560 (CPU) might be overwhelmed with the number of processes to be performed in the same time. One solution to this is to use the new Intel® Quark SoC X1000 Application Processor, that will appear in the next Arduino development boards. This processor is about 25 times faster than the one on my prototype and will easily handle the load. Most Arduino libraries are compatible with it, so I the user can benefit of the huge knowledge base available on the internet for this unit.
2. Manufacturing. We plan to do the final assembly of the unit in the United States. This will assure the best quality control and will support the California economy. The parts will be purchased from US and foreign suppliers. For the body design I will use 3DS Max, a 3D rendering software that I know well. Various shapes will be 3D printed on my "3D Stuffmaker" unit. Once the shape is rendered I will hire a mechanical engineer verify it to produce drafts.
I will open a bidding process for Cast Metal manufacturers in order to secure the best price and quality for the unit body.
3. Printed Circuit Board Design
Once the unit prototype works to our satisfaction, I will hire a PCB design firm to integrate all the parts and manufacture the boards.
I have no doubts that I am tenacious and qualified enough to see this project to fruition. When challenges arise I will use the funds raised here to hire the help I need. I have been a businessman for most of my career and I am very excited to take this unit to mass production.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
- (30 days)