Building your first autonomous vehicle: Part 1

The goal of this hands-on-discussion is to walk away with a robot vehicle controlled by your Netduino. We’ll design and assemble the hardware then program the Netduino to move your robot around the room.  We’ll look at controlling DC motors using your Netduino and discuss how to isolate the motor to prevent damaging your micro-controller.  Finally, we’ll connect and program the L293D Motor Driver to control the speed and direction of your vehicles.  

In Part 2 we’ll look at adding a sonar sensor to detect and avoid obstacles.  

Parts you’ll need:

- 2WD Chassis $20 

- L293 motor Driver  $2.50 Can also use the SN754410 pin compatible chip 

- Breadboard & jumper wires  $6.50 (also at Radio Shack) 

- 9v Battery Cable $1.92 (also at Radio Shack) 

1x 9v battery (recommend bringing additional batteries) 

Bring your Netduino 1 or 2 ( Netduino Plus will work but draws more power ) 

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  • paxelrod

    Glad I could help.

    April 2, 2014

  • TinFoot

    Paxelrod,
    True to form, I too did not pay attention to the details. My major problem was trying to load a MicoFramework 4.2 app into VS2010 with only MicroFramework 4.1. Once I completed the upgrade everything worked. Thanks for taking the time to answer my question. I will be heading back north soon so I will miss the next MeetUp but will join you all again when I return next fall. Have a nice summer.
    TinFoot

    April 1, 2014

  • Curt L.

    Chris Myers posted this one Facebook, I thought it was appropriate for this group to see to. Enjoy
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=HfiHOpv6HtI

    1 · March 27, 2014

  • TinFoot

    I attended my 1st Tampa Bay .Net Microframeworks Group meeting on Mar 18th. Great event and all members made me feel right at home. Special kudos to Randy Patterson who gave a superb lecture and patiently answered all my questions. Also thanks to Kelvin who answered my non-topic questions. I have pulled my NetDuino board out of the pile and ordering parts to construct the Robot. I am suffering the same symptoms that paxelrod encountered with the VS2010 code.

    1 · March 24, 2014

  • paxelrod

    Hi, Tinfoot.
    Randy pointed me to the netduino site and we found that I hadn't downloaded all the software. The site to go to for downloads is:
    http://www.netduino.com/downloads/
    I purchased a Netduino2 so I had to download and install the 3 items you see on the left-hand side of the above link. As always, pays to read the directions but I was trying to rush. Once I got all the software down and installed, there was one more thing that Randy showed me. It's going to the properties of the solution and checking the Transport. Randy told me that switching between the emulator and the USB selections can help when it appears that the Netduino is being recognized by the software but the device still fails to load software. Thank you for helping me to diagnose the wiring issue on my robot.

    March 27, 2014

  • paxelrod

    Way to go, Omar! I got some more of my kit delivered after the meetup. Still don't have the whole thing yet but your video is inspiring.

    February 19, 2014

    • Randy P.

      What's the error your're getting

      1 · February 21, 2014

    • paxelrod

      C:\Users\PeR\Documents\R­obotics\MyFirstRobot\MyF­irstRobot\MyFirstRobot.c­sproj : error : The project file 'C:\Users\PeR\Docum­ents\Robotics\MyFirstRob­ot\MyFirstRobot\MyFirstR­obot.csproj' cannot be opened.

      The project type is not supported by this installation.

      February 23, 2014

  • Omar H. S.

    Woo Hoo, Thanks for all your help everyone! Finally got it working =D

    https://i.imgflip.com/70jj2.gif

    1 · February 19, 2014

  • Jeffrey V.

    If anybody has an extra usb cable I could borrow for this evening, that would be awesome. I totally forgot that heading out the door today.

    February 18, 2014

    • Randy P.

      No problem Jeffrey, I'll have several USB cables with me.

      February 18, 2014

  • paxelrod

    I too am having problems getting the parts. The only thing I have at the moment are the jumper wires. I do have an Ardx kit that I might be able to borrow parts from.

    February 16, 2014

  • Randy P.

    I'll bring at least one of everything on the list so if you're missing a few things you can still build your vehicle. Also, we can work together in small teams so those that didn't purchase the parts can still help and learn

    February 15, 2014

  • Matt O.

    Just bought my kit! But the Chassis has to ship from china, and Amazon says it might not get here for like 2 weeks :( Do you know of a better one to go for?

    February 14, 2014

    • Omar H. S.

      I ordered this on wednesday and was supposed to receive it today via Prime but there have been delays in shipping because of weather conditions in the Southeast.

      February 14, 2014

    • Matt O.

      So it sounds like at least a few of us are not going to have all of the hardware we need... glad i wont be alone :)

      February 15, 2014

  • Omar H. S.

    Is it okay for a complete noob to join and try to follow along?

    February 11, 2014

    • Omar H. S.

      Awesome, Thanks!

      February 11, 2014

    • Colin B.

      You won't be the only newbie there, I am too

      1 · February 12, 2014

  • Brian K.

    Here is a blog post I saw today that relates to our meeting goals. http://blog.roguecode.co.za/Windows-Phone-controlled-car-with-Netduino-and-Bluetooth

    Its a Netduino robot controlled via Bluetooth with a Windows Phone. This is a few levels up over what we will be doing, but something we can probably expand on our own later.

    January 26, 2014

    • Randy P.

      That's pretty cool Brian. I went ahead and purchased the bluetooth module. If people are interested, maybe we can connect our phones to the vehicle at a later meeting.

      February 5, 2014

    • Brian K.

      If your close to the meeting date this same chassis is on amazon with prime shipping. Its pricey, but compared to sparkfun.com's shipping prices it works out to be a buck more if ordered by itself.

      January 8, 2014

  • Randy P.

    Here is a link to the wiring schematic and source code (VS 2010) for anyone interested in getting a head start. (http://fritzing.org/projects/l293d-motor-driver). You'll need to install the free open source Fritzing software under the Downloads tab before you can view the wiring diagram.

    January 4, 2014

  • Randy P.

    yikes. Here's another one on amazon.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HFVRK9Q/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=AFDPP1LZ52Y4L
    It appears to be in the US. You can also search Amazon for "2wd Chassis" to find all the vendors selling these. If you find a good vendor can you post a link?

    January 1, 2014

  • Chris M.

    Sparkfun has a collection of chassis
    https://www.sparkfun.com/categories/181

    December 31, 2013

  • Brian K.

    The 2WD Chassis linked from amazon is telling me 17 to 28 business days to receive it, its coming from Hong Kong. Is there another alternative to get in time for the meeting?

    December 31, 2013

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