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TEAM SOLBOT

PRELIMINARY DESIGN REVIEW


Martin Carbajal
Mellman

Mike

Project Description

Solar Operated Lawnmower Bot


Our project is a battery powered
automatic lawn mower
Initially the user will wirelessly control the
mower along a desired path and the
mower will record the movements in order
to later replicate them autonomously
It will have a solar powered charging
station that will act as the starting and
ending point of the mowing process

Function List

Mower will have the ability to be controlled remotely

It will be able to store the desired mowing path in


memory

It will have wheels that control forward and backward


movement as well as turning

Wireless interaction between mower, base station, and


control unit

Solar power to large battery to mower batteries

Automatic shut-off if it tips over

Micro-controller to interact with and control other


components (motors for blades/wheels, wireless
component, compass, and power management)

Possible Extra Features

Integrated scheduling of mower


Disable the mower if it leaves its designated
mowing area
Collision detection
Integrate an automated sprinkler system
with humidity and temperature sensors
Automatic path creation

Feasibility

Our members consist of two EE students


and two ECE students with CS minors
We have previous experience with
microcontrollers and power conversion
from prior classes
Extensive programming experience
Met with mechanical engineers to
discuss mechanical aspects and possible
outsourcing of chassis construction and
mechanical functionality

High Level View

More In-depth
Look

System Implementation

I2C will be the communication protocol


used for the compass
RS232 XBEE wireless communication
(2.4 GHz)
Battery voltages will be monitored using
the A/D converters via op-amps into the
microcontroller

Microcontroller
MSP430 F5xx 25MHz
Series (MSP430F5418)

Low power for a


wireless/remote system

Zigbee/RF optimized

AD converter for
input/output control

Code Composer
development environment

Very versatile for future


upgrades or additional
accessory options

Wireless Communications
The Xbee will provide
communications between
our Base station and the
Lawn mower
Initiation of lawn mower
via base station

Current location in
mower pattern to base
station

Send an alarm if tilt


switch activated

Controlled by micro
controller through RS232

300ft outdoor range

Navigational Equipment
3-Axis Compass HMC6343

Mounted on mower

Compass Heading

Tilt Outputs to detect tip over

3 axis Accelerometers

I2C communication to
Microcontroller

Typical 2 Heading Accuracy


with 1 Pitch and Roll
Accuracy

On breakout board due to


size of chip

Chassis

Will retrofit an existing


lawn mower chassis
We will use the front
wheels to drive, and
attach a caster wheel
in the back middle
We will find suitable
drive wheels with
adequate traction and
size

Drive Motor Choice

Stepper motor or DC motor?


Stepper motor operates in
discrete steps, while DC
motor operates continuously
based upon voltage level
Steppers harder to control,
DCs are simple
Steppers have less torque at
high speed than DCs
We will use 2 DC motors to
control mower movement

DC Motor Specifications

Force = k x N

k is the coefficient of friction between rubber and


grass ~0.35
N is the normal force on the wheels ~50 lbs
Force = 0.35 x 50 lbs = 17.5 lbs
Torque = F x r
r is the wheel radius ~4 inches
Torque = 17.5 lbs x 0.33 ft = 5.78 lb-ft
Desired torque per motor is ~6 lb-ft for adequate
movement

Mower Motor

We will use a single DC motor that will


spin faster than the drive motors
We wont attach a real blade unless
operated outside due to safety concerns
For demonstration purposes, will attach
a plastic RC airplane propeller

Power System

Small solar (RV)


panel continuously
charges 12V
battery at
charging station
When mower
returns to
charging station,
the on-board
batteries are
recharged
On board batteries
will be Li-Ion
packs to provide
enough power

Power Distribution

Three separate power systems on mower


Two high power (~24V) systems: one for
mower motor and one for drive motors
One low power (~3.3V) system for
microcontroller and other accessories (noise
prevention)
Monitor high power systems; upon low
power, return to charging station to recharge
Utilize switching converters

Software

Base station will be used to load code to


mower
ECE team members to manage this
aspect of project
Code Composer will be the development
environment

Project Cost
Part

Vendor

Price (USD)

Microcontroller

Digikey.com

$6.60

Xbee

Sparkfun.com

$45.90

Compass

Sparkfun.com

$149.95

Chassis

Retrofit existing
model

Free

Wheels

TBD

$50

Wheel Encoders

Sparkfun.com

$30

Drive Motors

TBD

~$100

Mower Motor

TBD

~$50

Mower Batteries

Batteryjunction.com

$14 * 10 = $140

Base Station Battery

Donation

Free

Solar Panel

Siliconsolar.com

$129.95

Misc. Components

EE store /
Sparkfun.com

$100

PC Boards

TBD

~$100

Division of Labor
TASK

CURTI
S

ERIK

MARTIN

MIKE

Frame retrofit

Motor Control

Power system design

RF Communication design

Hardware

PCB Layout

Electronics mounting/soldering

Microcontroller path control

Communication coding

Memory management

System testing

Preliminary Users Manual

Final Technical Manual

Final Users Manual

Software

Documentation

Risks

Mechanical issues (motor mounting, frame


retrofit) enlist mechanical majors help
Motor issues (possible magnetic
interference, excessive power
consumption) might need to shield
motors, use smaller motors and lighter
frame
Path reproduction additional path
reproduction sensors to aid primary path
control

Schedule

Questions?