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Braitenberg Vehicle Assembly

This is a guide to assembling the non-electronic parts of the Braitenberg vehicle. It is split into five parts: parts and tools, assembing the light sensor modules, assembling the 'visor' part for the sensors to stick to, assembling the body and putting it all together.

Click on the pictures to see bigger versions.

Parts and Tools

Everything you need to assemble the braitenberg vehicle (except scissors). A listing is available here.

Most of the more serious tools are needed only for making the sensors.

Light Sensors

For each of the two sensors you need a banana plug, some wire (quad core shown), an LDR and the laser cut disk part.

Stip the ends of the wire and push the LDR through the holes in the laser cut disk.

Solder on the banana plug and secure its casing, then solder on LDR.

Secure the LDR legs and solder joints to the laser cut disk with hot glue.

Apply a circle of Velcro to the back of the sensor.

'Visor' Part

The visor is probably the most complicated part to assemble. It consists of a number of small rectangular parts held vertically between two curved parts. They can be secured using 16mm M3 bolts, or with separators as we have here (we list separators, not bolts, on our parts list).

If you are using separators, put them in place now.

Thread a M3 hex nut fully onto an 16mm M3 bolt and stack the laser cut insets onto it in the order shown.

Put the stack made in the previous into the grooves on curved piece with separators. Add the other toothed insets in the same way.

Attach the other curved peice with 10mm M3 bolts (or just hex nuts if you haven't used spacers). The last pannel in the stack of insets will not be secured at this stage.

Apply Velcro (opposite sense to the sensors) along the visor and trim.

Body

We begin with the large panel with the curved edge. This is the bottom of the robot.

Attach the castor using 10mm M3 bolts, with the nuts on the same side as the ball.

Next we attach the motor unit to the plate using 25mm M3 bolts. These bolts are longer than is strictly necessary, but it makes the assembly much easier.

The deep slots should be at the 'wheel end' of the motor unit.

Next we put the body together. It is secured (rather well) by the tension of an elastic band.

Slot the bottom plate into the motor plate and put one side peice in place.

Now, a slightly tricky manoeuver. Put the elastic band over the notch in the first side plate and put the other side plate in place. The aim now is to stretch the elastic band over the notch in the new side plate. It helps to use a screwdriver inserted though the hole in the new side plate...

... you can then pull the band through the hole, keeping it on the tip of the screwdriver all the way. Once in place, do not to let the elastic band pull to hard on the sides until the the top plate is in.

Gently pull against the elastic band tension to make room for the top plate.

Once the top plate is inserted it should be very sturdy. Ready for the final assembly.

Final Assembly

The battery and circuit are held in place using elastic bands.

The battery is held in place with the band that secures the body.

The circuit is held in place by an elastic band that passes through the four notches on the top.

We now attach the visor using M3 bolts and wing nuts. The visor is held in place with two arms. The long slots on the arm should be attached to the body, and the visor part attaches through the round holes (they're layed out backwards in the image).

Attach the arm using washers between the plasic and wingnut/bolt-head.

Next we attach the visor to the arms. The bolts protruding from the visor go though the round holes in the arms and are secured with a wing nut. Remember to place the rectangular laser cut insets onto the visor bolts

All that is left is to plug the light sensors and motors into the circuit.

The finished robot. Attach the battery to make it go!