PCBWay 3rd PCB Design Contest

Eurobot 2020 - Sail the World!

Eurobot 2020


About the Competition

Created in 1998, Eurobot is a international amateur robotics contest open to teams of young people, organised either in student projects or in independent clubs. Eurobot takes place in Europe but also welcomes countries from other continents.

Eurobot logo


The Rules

Each year the rules are different, since it's a different theme every year. There are some general rules which stay through every year and they usually revolve around making the robots safe for the environment.


Sail the World!

This year's theme is sailing, which means that all the tasks given, will represent some kind of hardship, which you will come across while sailing. For an example, one of tasks is to collect cups of different colors, which are scattered all over the terrain and they represent the buoys. The more cups that the robot places on the area of the corresponding color, the more points the team gets.

The terrain is quite large at 2000x3000 mm2, which means that the robots should have some way of knowing where they are and how far they can move.

The terrain for this year's Eurobot


Some other tasks which are given are: activating the "lighthouse", flipping the "windsocks", locating the ArUco marker at the brim of the table. raising the flags etc.


The Lighthouse

This year's Eurobot is pretty specific, in a way that each team has to construct their own lighthouse, which means that apart from the robots, the teams have to make a completely separate mechanism that has to be fully automatic, just like the robots themselves.

The lighthouse is supposed to, after being activated by one of the robots, elevate, start to shine a light, and to begin rotating.

Our mechanism is as shown in this picture:

Our attempt at a "lighthouse"

There is a certain height which the lighthouse has to achieve, and also there are limitations regarding the height of the lighthouse before it's activated, which is why we made it a 2-part ascension.

Okay, so we solved the mechanical part of the problem, but that still leaves us with no rotating light... Well that's why we plan on using this PCB with LEDs on its brim, to simulate the rotating light.

LED ring


Our Robots


We are a group of students at University of Novi Sad, studying Mechatronics and as such we decided to participate at this years Eurobot and see just how well are our robot-making skills!


Mechanics

The design and construction of our robots is quite simple and straightforward. We used aluminum profiles and aluminum sheets in case of a smaller robot and hardened steel sheets in the case of the bigger robot, which made it a lot heavier than the smaller one. Here is the basic design:

Top one is the smaller robot, bottom picture represents the bigger robot with hardened steel sheets


Actuators

In order to get these robots to move, we needed a decent amount of power, which is why we decided to go with 24 V brushless DC motors from Dunkermotoren.

Placement of brushless DC motors


These motors proved to be what we needed, and more. We're pleased with the results, although they may be on the heavier side, not because of the motor itself but because of the reduction needed to generate adequate amount of RPMs to move our robots at a reasonable speed.


One of our robots will also house a stepper motor which will be used to lift the cups out of the holder which is located at the brim of the terrain/table.


All remaining tasks, we hope to accomplish by implementing servos within our robots, which means that we will need a couple of servos per robot. The servos which we plan on using are different from standard servos, in a way that these servos are actually controlled with digital signals instead of analogue or PWM which the standard way of doing things. And that brings us to...


Electronics

Controlling those servos, although it may seem easier than the standard ones, may actually prove to be more difficult, unless you have the right electronics for the job, and that is why we opted to use OpenCR, a board which supposed to solve problems like ours, and it looks like this:

OpenCR is an open-source hardware and software meant to be used with ROS embedded systems


For controlling stepper motors we decided to use simple yet reliable L298N stepper driver.

L298N dual H-bridge stepper motor driver


And finally, for controlling our brushless DC motors we decided to use PWM outputs of our main board which looks like this:

Mikroelektronika's MEGA Drive with it's expansion board


And that would be all regarding our robots for this year's Eurobot contest!

But there is still something worth mentioning:


3D Printing

A lot of hobbyists praise 3D printers for their amazing ability to create prototypes and even final parts in a real short period of time.

We would like to take a moment to tell you just how much our project has been made easier by using our 3D printers. Anything you can imagine can be right in front of you in a matter of couple of hours. That's why we decided we would like to make our 3D printers better and more reliable by replacing the electronics inside it with something even better. And that's where this open-source MKS GEN board comes in.

MKS Gen v1.2 board


In Conclusion

Our chances of success would greatly improve if PCBWay team chooses to help us and it would mean an immense pleasure to be supported by such a great company!

On behalf of Tobor Robotics: Thank you for your time!

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524 Projects Sponsored
Apr 02,2020
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