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Topic: i am a noob (Read 861 times) previous topic - next topic


i have searched the forum but i am still lost and need help. i have a project to build using arduino. the project consist of me building a autonomous vehicle that is able to pick up golf balls in different locations within a certain area and put it in a box at the other end. i have bought a chassis/w tires, arduino board, also an h bridge and 4.5 volt battery pack. here is where i stand. i dont know what else i would need if i need any thing at all. if any one can point me to a link or with any helpful information that would be greatly appreciated. i am willing to scrap what i have already bought to start from the beginning.
i am a noob and need serious help


That is a rather ambitious project for a first project.  It sounds like you have several sub-projects, each of which needs solving in turn before you can get your completed project done.  Rather than trying to buy everything at once and hope you got the right parts, break down the project into smaller steps and concentrate on solving each one in turn.  From your parts list, you will need at least some motors (unless your chassis has them), and something to pick up the golf balls.  Depending on what the task actually is, you may need to think about remote control and/or sensing units to avoid things in the way or find the golf balls.

If you are a true newbie, and have never done any electronics work, nor programmed anything complex, nor worked on a large project by yourself, I suspect it will be similar to learning how to swim by jumping off the high diving board into deep water, possibly filled with hungry sharks.  If you have worked on large projects and can either program or have the electronics background, it is probably do-able.  Even if you have both electronics skills and programming, if you haven't worked on a large project, it will be a learning exercise.


Just to amplify on Michael's comment, you will need at least one motor to drive the driving wheels, and one motor (which might be part of an actuator assembly) to turn the steering wheels -- unless you're planning on doing skid-steer. Then you will need more motors to run whatever sort of mechanism you use to pick up the golf balls. So you'll need to decide whether you want to use a claw, or a bucket, or something else. If a bucket, then the bucket will need to tilt up so the ball doesn't roll out, and will need to lift up over the lip of the box, and then tilt down. You might also need a way to trap the balls so they don't just roll away when you attempt to scoop them up with the bucket, unless you're sure you can trap them against something inside the area. Another question would be, if this robot is autonomous, how is it going to recognize a golf ball -- now you're getting into some sort of sensing capability. In order to put all this together, you'll need more hardware of various types. Gears, beams, sprockets, drive belts ... this could be a long list.

As to the motors, the H-bridge would usually be used with the driving motor. Depending on implementation, an H-bridge could also be used for steering, but probably a servo would be a better approach for that. There also stepper motors. The thing is, that, with some exceptions, you will need some sort of driver circuit for each motor. I'm not a roboticist, just thinking in general terms.

I suppose it's possible to pick up a golf ball using some sort of vacuum apparatus too. The coffee ground gripper would earn you mondo cool points, but I don't know how difficult it is to implement that. Not sure about alternatives to motors -- "muscle wire" could be usable for certain robotic actions -- I don't know whether it's appropriate for your project.

I think that, rather than just doing a search, you might spend some time just reading in the Motors, mechanics, and power, and the Robotics forums. Scan titles looking for things that sound relevant, and read a lot. Have you explored the Wiki yet? Try doing a search for 'golf ball robot' on YouTube.
... it is poor civic hygiene to install technologies that could someday
facilitate a police state. -- Bruce Schneier



That's a hand pushed ball picker. A tractor can pull lots at once.

They have disc rollers that grab a ball as they roll over it. As the ball goes past the top it gets flung into the basket.

I've also seen ball retrievers that will trap a ball when pushed onto one. Releasing it may be tricky.

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