Hello Element 14 Community! My name is Joshua Halvorsen and I was the winner of the WASD gaming pedals from The Ben Heck Show. I have been working with a few friends on what we will be doing with the pedals as per the competition terms. We are 2nd year engineering students at Memorial University and we have come up with an idea to use the gaming pedals both for what they were intended to and other things. Obviously we have hooked it up to a gaming desktop and used it for games like Payday 2, Minecraft and FTL. The pedals are lots of fun to use and can greatly improve our reaction time to various events in the game. We had to modify the code to change the key bindings so it works better with the games but other than that it is working great.
But as for the project we want these pedals to be a part of is one we call the "MUN-Bot", named partially after out university. As shown below, it is a track based bot that is designed to climb stairs and carry different types of payloads. These payloads can be anything from cans of pop from the fridge (using a custom fridge dispenser we will create) or lights/speakers to play music and have a mini party wherever it goes. The design is simple and has gone through several designs and prototypes and this is our current result. The robot itself will be autonomous, controlled by the main control boards but with possible Blutooth add on, the robot can be controlled once the module has been installed.
The components for this robot were planned on being sourced from our university. The main control boards (called the "MUN-Der Board") are custom boards made at the university. Two boards will be used, one for climbing actions and the other for regular driving. The bot will use IR distance sensors to detect the stairs and aid it in the climbing and navigation process. The climb arm will lift up on the stairs via a solenoid (not shown) and will be used to get the robot in position on the stairs so the main base can also be used to climb. From there, the bot will use its tracks to climb the stairs and get to the top.
The gaming pedals would be used once the Blutooth capabilities were added. The pedals would be used as controllers for the robot as it would use differential tracks to steer. Essentially, each track moves independently. To turn, one track moves one way and the other track moves the other way. This bot turns like a tank. The pedals would be used to control the direction of the tracks once the code on the pedals has been modified slightly and essentially steer the robot. The pedals combined with sensors will be used to automatically detect the stairs it is trying to climb so all the user has to do is steer with their feet using the pedals. As this project is taking a lot of time to design and create, the pedals will continue to be used for gaming until they are needed for this robotic project.
Updates will hopefully be posted once they are made, and feel free to take this design and modify it for your own personal use. See you soon Element 14 Community!!
-- Joshua Halvorsen
MUN-Bot Concept Design: