Design, experimentation and fabrication of a low cost controller board for robotic applications

Singh, Rajendra (2006) Design, experimentation and fabrication of a low cost controller board for robotic applications. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


This thesis presents the design, construction and experiments done on a microcontroller board called 'SMARTY BOARD' targeted at small mobile robot applications. The primary motivation for this work was the lack of commercially available and cheap controller boards that would have all their components including interfaces on a single board. Having a single board simplifies the construction of programmable robots that can be used as platforms for teaching and learning robotics. Reducing the cost of the board as much as possible was one of the main design objectives. The target user groups for this device are the secondary and tertiary students, and hobbyists. Previous studies have shown that equipment cost is one of the major obstacles for teaching robotics in Australia. The other design objectives were robustness, reliability and functionality of the board. Most of the early technological learners such as high school students lack experience and expert knowledge for interfacing a controller board with other components. To prevent the learners from making errors, connectors on our board have been made foolproof (the user cannot damage the components of the board by plugging cables in the wrong sockets). Commercially available designs lack these essential features. After reviewing the commercially available micro-controller boards with respect to their suitability as teaching tools, we concluded that none of the existing microcontroller boards met our requirements. We then designed a new controller board based on previous boards. The main advantage of this new controller board is that it is a single board whereas the other controller boards are multi-board. Moreover, it is more foolproof. The new controller board was demonstrated at high-school seminars. In these demonstrations the new controller board was used for controlling two robots that we built. These robots are available as kits. The response from the high school teachers was very positive. The board has been selected as the platform for a robotic competition.

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ID Code: 16241
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Maire, Frederic & Sitte, Joaquin
Keywords: low cost controller board, robotic application, software, programming
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Past > Schools > School of Software Engineering & Data Communications
Department: Faculty of Information Technology
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Rajendra Singh
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 03:59
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 19:45

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