March 2011

how to fit whisker touch sensors to your insect bot...

click on images to see more detail...



In the above photo you can see how we've fitted two microswitches to the front of the MECCANO SKiPPy. You can do the same with the LEGO SKiPPy. Use drinking straws to extend the whiskers to the width of the robot.


In the above photo you can see more detail and the small blobs of PRESTICK inside the drinking straws so they stay put on the microswitch.


Remember the inputs on the BS2 need to connect to the +5 volts positive rail on the robo motherboard through a 10 kilo ohm resistor (brown, black, orange, gold) to hold the pin "high" and when the whisker touches an obstacle to pin then connects directly to zero volts or negative. This then provides the program with an "I" or "O" state which will determine how the robot reacts and ovoids getting stuck on objects.


Note that there are three connections on the microswitch - "C" which is common and always used and "NC" normally closed and "NO" normally open. We use the common and normally open terminals on the switch because we only want the switch to conduct when the whisker presses up against an object. Please email me at info @ robotscience.co.za if this explanation is not comprehensive enough or you are not successful getting your insect whisker type robot going. Send pictures and an explanation of the problem.



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