Stick some electrical tape on a piece of poster-board and what do you have? A racetrack, of sorts. A robot racetrack. There are all kinds of robotics competitions but one popular style is called Line Following. You take a “racetrack” as described above and construct a robot that can go around the course on its own. Technically, it isn’t extremely difficult to build a line following robot. The challenge is being the quickest, the most accurate, the smallest or the most creative.
Today’s entry is in the fun and creative category. I decided to build a line follower using an empty raisin box for the body. This is not an ideal platform because it is mostly vertical, which means that it has a high center of gravity and a tendency to tilt and rock. You can see this in the RaisinBoxBot video. But nonetheless, it followed the line.
Most people that build a line following robot use some form of microprocessor because it is a much easier. However, I decided to go the other way for this one and do it all in hardware. The entire circuit consists of two sensors, a comparator, a motor driver chip and some resistors. It was a lot of fun doing it that way and let me learn more about hardware.
Now I think I’ll cannibalize the hardware, build a better chassis and try to make a version that rolls a bit smoother than this one.