Autonomous Arduino Vehicle Build (Questions)

Hey there, I am planning on going to a robotic competition and would like some insight on what kind of components will be best suited. I am pretty familiar with Arduino hobby projects but I have only been using components that are not very precise as it was just for fun.

In the competition, speed and precision in the components will be vital and that’s why I am writing this message to ask for suggestion on the available components sold in Core Electronics. The task is to build an autonomous vehicle to collect and deliver loads. The vehicle is size constraint to roughly 50cm^3.

The main question I have is:

  1. What kind of motors and tires can be used to have the quickest run and be precisely repetitive? Timing is vital in the competition. I have previously used DC motors and an Arduino motor shield, the movement of the robot was too unstable to run the same every time

  2. To ensure the robot can be in a precise location everytime to pick and deliver the load, what distance sensors is recommended? I have tried using the ultrasonic sensor but the data from it is too noisy to reliably position the robot.

  3. What kind of overall set up (batteries+motor driver) is recommended to ensure that the robot will run the same every time?

Would it be possible to come down to the shop to have a discussion with any of you regarding our project? We currently have not brought any components yet. It will be great to have some advice from local experts.



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Hi Timothy,

What is the robotic competition? That sounds like a lot of fun!
This is a bit outside of my area of expertise, while I have made many projects I haven’t really attempted any performance robotics. Here is my suggestions though.

  1. If you need things to be precise, then go with a stepper motor. You could get the exact same distance out of them every time (assuming the wheels don’t slip). The downside here is that stepper motors are pretty slow. If speed is critical then you could potentially gear your stepper motors up, but then you will lose precision ‘resolution’. A typical RC car has a brushed or brushless motor in it, These can propel your robot very quickly, but generally will have now way to tell how far they have traveled.

  2. For location sensing. You could go super complex and use a LIDAR, but I get the feeling that might be too complex/expensive. I would use Ultrasonic sensors or Time-Of-Flight laser rangefinders. TOF sensors are very accurate which is nice. Ultrasonic sensors can be made more precise by taking the median reading from multiple samples.

  3. I don’t think the batteries or motor driver will have too much impact on the accuracy of the robot, much larger elements will be your design and how you choose to program it.

Good luck!

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Hi Stephen,

It is the Warmen Challenge. Thank you so much for the advice, I’ll figure out how to proceed from here! Appreciate the help.


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