Sumo Bot Entry for 7th Grade NYS Science Olympiad by JP

This Sumo Bot runs on low voltage batteries and uses a programmable Arduino microcontroller for all controls. A second Arduino communicating via 2.4 GHz XBee is used for remote control. The remote talks I2C to a Wii nunchuck joystick with accelerometer. The Tankers high-torque motors and locking transmissions, plus double sided operation with automatic attitude detection make it a tough challenger. It was designed to meet the NYS Science Olympiad Class “B” specifications.

The LV Tanker Top-side View

Tanker bottom-side view with major features
Bottom-side view showing lightening holes, homemade remote control, and initial design in Blender

Starting with a design in Blender nearly 11 months ago the LV Tanker took estimated 250 hours to build, 3 prototypes, 4 motor shield designs, and many hours of programming.

  • 2 high torque low voltage motors with orbital gear transmissions in a tank-style configuration
  • On-board ATMEL ATmega328 microprocessor in Arduino Duemilanove configuration with 32Kb memory and 16Mhz clock speed
  • 2.4 Gigahertz wireless mesh network communications based on the XBee
  • Laser assisted guidance
  • Multiple programmable modes
  • Automatic attitude detection for seamless two sided operation (it can be flipped over and still drive and nunchuck automatically reverses)
  • Rugged aluminum, steel, & plastic construction
  • 9 individually controlled LED status indicators
  • Piezoelectric “speaker” for audio signals
  • Symmetrically balanced motors with locked stopped position by Black & Decker
  • Direct driveshaft for main axels, light-weight Nylon chain driven secondary axels for tank-like operation
  • Transistors with electrically isolated left and right channel motor relays
  • Operation with Wii nunchuck joystick and accelerometer control or old-school 2.4 GHz wireless Arduino based joystick

Special thanks to:

  • Arduino –
  • Adafruit – for their parts and tutorials
  • Tod Kurt – for his instruction and inspiration
  • Gold Coast Hobby for motivation
  • Dr. Wolf, Mr. Lee and Mr. Myer for their sponsorship
Feel free to contact us for more information, code etc.
  • School/Name: Locust Valley Tanker
  • L: 30cm, W: 29.5 cm, H: 7.5 cm
  • 1.982kg (U.S. PO Weight)
  • (4) 1.5V “AA” and (4) 1.5V “C”
  • 2.4 GHz wireless communication
  • By JP

Parts, software and help from Arduino, Mouser, Black & Decker, ThingM, Adafruit, Digi, ATMEL, TI Sparkfun, Fun Gizmos, Radio Shack, Duracell, ST, Seeed Studio and others.


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