David Bullock - mail@davidbullock.uk

II. Robots - Cambot trials

Initial Cambot Design (Prototype)
My first attempt to build a video camera carrying robot (cambot for short) was based around the standard tracked rover design *. The problem with this design was that the tracks caused severe camera vibration when running on a hard surface such as a wooden floor. Ironically in preparing these videos for online delivery I reduced the frame rate which has had the effect of smoothing out most of the camera shake.

Take 1 (0'38")
Shorter than average run because the one of the drive gears had become loose.

 

Take 2 (2'32")
Once I had fixed the loose gear the second attempt was far more sucessful.



Take 3 (4'55")

 


Take 4 (2'17")

 

Take 5 (5'29")


Take 6 (2'38")
In this clip you can see my feet standing on the stairs in an unsuccessful attempt to avoid appearing in the video.



Take 7 (0'48")
If you look closely in this video you can see the IR control tower which is used to send messages between the robot and the computer. In this instance I was using it to remotely initiate the cambot's program rather than starting it manually.

 

First Wheeled Cambot Design (v1.0)
After many attempts to dampen the vibration caused by the tracks I eventually decided that the best cure would be to switch to wheels. The two videos below were filmed using the new wheeled cambot design. Unfortunately this suffered from a high centre of gravity and was consequently fairly unstable. When it did remain upright the motion was much smoother and more fluid than the earlier tracked version, indicating that wheels were a more optimal solution for smooth surfaces.


Take 1 (2'04")

 


Take 2 (0'45")
On this run the cambot got caught in a tight corner which it could not get out of leading me to redesign the bumpers and the program.

 

Final Wheeled Cambot Design (v1.1)
The final designed ironed out many of the stability and vibration problems of the previous versions. One of the most significant design improvements was the addition of a single multi-directional trolley wheel at the rear. This allowed the robot to reverse and turn 360° circles on the spot. Extending the wheel base lowered the centre of gravity and thus improved overall stability. The result was a much faster robot that manoeuvred and turned fluidly. This was much closer to my original goal and provided the basis for my dancing robot videos.


Take 1 (3'59")

 


Take 2 (4'00")

 


Take 3 (5'01")