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Carbot is Porky, Not Sprightly

November 3, 2014

I haven’t done a lot with carbot the last couple of weeks because it had gotten to seem like too much work and speed-wise it was a shambles. I hauled it out today to benchmark it and see if I thought I could salvage it. In the video below you can see it in free-run mode going forward, turning left, then forward again. The forward speed might be ok but the turn is pathetic.

I think the problem is mostly weight although my PWM might contribute. The carbot chassis with wheels and motors is just over 200g, the olduino is 110, and my battery setup is about 150 for a total around 460g – more than a pound of porkiness. I don’t have video of the original carbot but it performed much better. It would have weighed about 350g so if I could shave 100g I’d probably see a big improvement.

My battery setup is about the only variable I’ve got. It consists of 3XAAs in a holder at 116g to drive the motors and a 3 cell cordless phone battery at 34g to power the logic. The original carbot used the phone battery for the motors and a 9V(45g) for the logic. I can make a big dent in my weight if I go back to the cordless phone batteries for my motor and another similar pack for the logic. In theory I could use a single AAA for the logic but it would have a very hard life.

Things I weighed today:

  • Carbot Chassis 207g
  • Olduino+shield and motor controller 109g
  • arduino+shield etc 70g
  • 3XAA battery pack 116g
  • 3 cell 300mah cordless phone battery pack 34g
  • 1XAA battery 11g
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