TractorBot prototype lives

Last week Keith was scrabbling around in his shed to find a piece of hardboard to mount motors, motor drivers and Pi etc. Well it turns out he found some, so he knocked together a quick TractorBot prototype, the results can be seen below.

The next thing to do was to download the latest Raspbain Jessie image and flash it to a new SD card. Keith had trouble with unzipping the download, but a quick check on the Raspberry Pi website showed that if the file was unzipped with The Unarchiver for Mac it would unzip fine, and it did. So after a quick dd command the SD card was flashed and the Pi was up and running.

Keith then pulled the BitBucket repository to the Pi, installed the dependencies and fired up TractorBot.

TractorBot 2015 prototype first test from Keith Ellis on Vimeo.

Ooops, it didn’t work. It turned out that the motor driver earth was not connected to the Pi earth, once another jumper wire was installed it all worked as expected. So Keith tidied it up a bit, fixed all the components down and ran a side by side comparison against last years robot.

TractorBot 2014 meets TractorBot 2015 from Keith Ellis on Vimeo.

So now we know the motors and motor drivers work the next few weeks will be designing a proper chassis, this time hopefully it will be small enough to fit into the A3 category.

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