It’s been a long time sense I last posted an entry and I’ve done a lot in that time. the most visible improvement is the mounting platform. this platform is ware I place all the sensors and the electronics. It has to hold a lot of material. externally you can see the emergency stop, camera pan/tilt unit and the lidar. On the inside it holds the arduino, the arduino shield, a breadboard prototyping area, the battery for the lidar, the lidars voltage regulator and a netbook. to hold all of this equipment I have staked the netbook on top of the the rest of the electronics to maximize space usage and to hide all of the cables connecting the electronics together. I’ve also recessed the electronics into the main panel of the mounting platform to reduce the wasted space. the advantage of having all the electronics in the mounting platform is to increase the ease of assembly and provide better assess to the components.
I chose to make the mounting platform out of corrugated plastic due to its ease of construction and relative light weight. the plastic glue holding it together comprises of at least half of it’s weight. the plastic is has the strength to support all the weight of the electronics without bending and it provides reasonable protection from light rain in the it won’t disintegrate like cardboard and water will only get to the electronics where the plastic is not glue together.
in making this chassis I went through two prototypes. the first was basically a sheet of corrugated plastic with the electronics duct taped on. while it worked, it had very little strength and was susceptible to failure from to much acceleration. the second version was and improvement made out of card board and hot glue for faster prototyping but it did not have sufficient space for the electronics which lead me to the final version where all of the electronics are under the computer.
the final version is made out of four pieces. the main section holds the majority of the electronics form the LIDAR to the e-stop. there are recessed compartments that allow for the secure placement of all the electrics and about 3 cm of space for all the wires. there is a small piece that goes on tom of the wires to place the net-book on top of and on top of that there is a cover that protects it from the rain and stops the net-book from flying out at high speeds. in the front of the robot there is a piece that holds the camera with a pan/tilt unit and a front facing IR sensor. this screws on to keep it in place during the race.