I-Are-Bot’s new PCB

To drive all 6 engines of the same H-bridge is not recommended, it tends to get hot, pretty hot. I was thinking of make a extension card with three H-bridges on it, but then I’d have some weight issues with my bot, it has to weigh less then 500g. The solution was to build a new PCP with htree H-bridges.

Because I never have created a PCB before I was a little bit unsure of how to do it and if I would do any errors. But I’d much help from folks at CRF and it turned out to be a win!

Benjamin at CRF showed me KiCAD which is a great program. It is very user-friendly and you’ll get started quickly. Here’s a great tutorial for KiCAD from CuriousInventor.com.

I drawed the schematics nearly exactly the same as on the Introkit09, but i added two extra H-bridges (L298).

I got a little bit help from Benjamin and Victor to print and make the PCB.

All my resistors and LED’s is surface-mounted so I was a little bit worried that I would have problems while solder. I then watched “Surface Mount Soldering 101″ from CuriousInventor.com and started solder, it turned out to be very easy.

I soldered LED’s with different colors on my PCB, i thought it would be much easier when debuging. I also made up a new ISO for Power-indicators, white LED’s, white! 🙂


I-Are-Bot is a robot I’m currently working on for Robot SM 2010 (http://www.robotsm.se).
A bot has to be 100×100[mm] to enter the competition, mine was about 130, therefore I had to built an unconventional bot 🙂
Two mini-tower 9G is lifting each wheel pair.


To calculate the arm-lengths and servo-positions I had to draw it all in CAD.


The prototype turned out pretty well, and after a little fine-tuning did the wheel pairs going up and down without problems.

Video of the CAD and prototype

Piratbilen V2


The autonomous pirate-car was a huge success at Dreamhack W09, so Benjamin has built a new one. The Pirate-Car V2.



The chassi is from a RC-car, the stearing system has been modified with a servo and it has a better steering-radius. The motor and gearbox is original but it has a reflex-sensor built in the gearbox, the reflex-sensor is aimed to a gear that is painted half black. The sensor can pick up 3 peaks per revolution, these seams to be enough to make the PID-regulator stable.

It has five Sharp-sensors 3 in the front and 2 in the back.

The autonomous part

The Pirate-Car navigates by it self, it goes around tables, chairs, walls with no problems.
The two front sensors ,left and right, separately calculates how the car should turn. The two turn-values are then subtracted and makes a delta-value that is put out to the steering-servo. This works pretty well, in a corridor the car senses both walls and navigates right between the walls.

The Pirate-Car could sense if it’s stuck in several ways

  • Front-center-sensor senses a object close enough
  • Front-left and front-right sensors senses a object close enough at the same time
  • PID-regulator is delivering a high output that indicates a spinning wheel


If it’s stuck it starts the reversing-procedure, it reverse until the front-sensors feel it’s free or the back-sensors indicates a object.


The main-PCB has a IR-eye hooked up, this eye could pick up commands from IR-remote-controls. Benjamin has written a nice protocol for picking up commands.
Currently two commands could be sent:

  • Shut the H-bridge on/off
  • Increase/decrease the PID-regulators goal-value

With a Introkit09 we built a remote-control, we used the existing IR-diode to send out IR-commands. But the signal was weak, we then tied to switch to another type (TSAL6400) which were much brighter.

Future plans

  • Make a chaseing-mode, if someone/something tries to catch up the Pirate-Car it goes faster
  • When it slows down, brake-lights will glow
  • When someone tries to fuck with it, a loud annoying sound and flashing lights will go off
  • Following-mode, it tries to follow a person around

The autonomous part