I don’t have a good track record with mechanical projects – anything that moves. I do much better with purely electrical devices. As soon as you have moving parts you have to deal with things like friction, backlash, wear, tolerances, inductive spikes… I don’t like any of those things. Every couple of years I forget this and think it’ll be different this time, so here is another mechanical project.
A couple of years ago while still at university I started a balancing robot project. I quickly gave up. The reason was that my robot was free standing and balanced on two wheels. There were a number of issues:
- The robot would run around and I didn’t have enough space of my desk to allow it to balance
- The programming cable would restrain the robot so I also had to unplug my programming cable each time I wanted to test it – not ideal for quick iteration
- It was hard to control the environment and get the motors aligned
- The robot could not have an external power source so had to rely on batteries
This time I am still going for a balancing robot but I am going for a rotational robot, rather than a free standing robot.