For Haven spent more than 2 years thinking about “the perfect design” of Robots that could help to improve Farming activities, I just want to share some Hints with you, which I believe to be interested in the topic since you are reading.
Being a robotic maker requires a minimum Knowledge in electronics, mechanics, and Mobility, I will just cover the design (mechanical aspect) because I think you may know already what is needed for your robot to move.
First of all, why? : Meaning, what is the activity in which you want to invest a Robot, what is the Purpose of the design and How is it going to perform this task: You Need to be very specific in the workspace of the robot in order to be Dynamic in its design. Don’t think about the design, before making it clear for the project clear, otherwise you will lose energy and money.
Secondly How Long ? : You may surely be inspired by several models you’ve seen and fall in the trap of taking the design for Granted But this question will help you get out of it, believe me especially when you regularly attend competitions , a Good design doesn’t need to be replaced, Just needs to be improved.
THirdly: Which base? : Usually, we use to think a lot about the end , meaning what it’s supposed to do, which is good, as stated in the first point. Once it is done, don’t waste your time thinking about what is the appropriate effector, start with a correct base. Here you have 2 choices:
1- Use an existing Base:
Using an existing base will help you to prioritize something you think more important than the base, but in return, it reduces flexibility. In terms of mobility, once you choose a base for the best or the worse, your mobility is constrained, furthermore, you are constrained in Space and the assembled bot can be expensive. For any robot maker, those three are fundamental. More details in the second point.
2. Custom your own Base
I think this is the best way to make sure everything goes as you wish. Today Design any mechanical solution is made easy by software like Solidworks, Autodesk Fusion (with a free license for students). Once you Spent a minimum of 3 hours to learn the Basics you can go on and design any mechanism.
There are existing Libraries for actuators, sensors, you can upload a design of a PCB card, and if the component you want to use is new you may just use the CAD model supplied by the manufacturer. These are some example
With all these helpful tools and handles going beyond what i quoted, the only limit is your imagination.
Once you made the base and you are confident about the mobility of your Robot, extra features can be added, removed as you want.
Lastly For your design to be a good one you will need to set up the electronics carefully meaning you should avoid congestion and start by listing all the components you will need before you launch the connections, otherwise you will waste a lot of time in debugging , reshaping your Bot. Furthermore connections in a bot can take a lot of space, The fewer connections(unnecessary ones) you have the more your bot will look beautiful.
Next topics, will cover: setting up the electronics