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Vexplorer Project – Part II

IMG_0577From: The Robot Magazine Shelves & VEX Robotics

Ok… This is a “Make Something Out Of What’s Laying Around” sort of thing. In this case, we had a quite old Vexplorer robot which had missing and broken parts. We also had an older VEX PIC Micro-controller and Wireless Transmitter & Receiver Kit. So… let’s see what can be done with this one.

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Here is the “scrap pile”… well… “currently unused parts pile”. Some of these are broken or bent but most are reusable so we’ll keep them handy just in case.

One of the first things I did on the rebuild of this one was to strengthen the platform by bolting all the bearings in place.
One of the first things I did on the rebuild of this one was to strengthen the platform by bolting all the bearings in place.
Then, upgrading the motors to the latest VEX 393 Two Wire Motors gets our Vexplorer up-to-speed... and strength.
Then, upgrading the motors to the latest VEX 393 Two Wire Motors gets our Vexplorer up-to-speed… and strength.
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This one is tight to the ground so all the goodies will have to mount on top. Starting with the battery straps being placed on the back.
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Our old PIC Controller put in place on some short stand-offs to allow space for running the wires to come later and a new VEX 7.2V 3000mAh NiMH Robot Battery in place.
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Front View
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Rear View
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Here… the receiver from the VEX Transmitter and Receiver Kit is installed on the back driver’s side of our Updgraded Vexplorer.

 

 

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The orange serial programming cord can be seen here, tucked in nice and neat. This way… the USB/Serial module need only be plugged in place in order to create communications between the PIC and the computer.
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Voila! Time to work on the TxRx to get it in working order.

Project Plan:

Complete dis-assembly and inspection of Vexplorer components. Complete chassis rebuild with strength added to the drive-train, with an eye toward upgrading the motors and anything else it might need in order to make it a solid robotic project platform.

Status:

Vexplorer Completely rebuilt and reinforced… old PIC and TxRx put in place.

Next Steps:

Test the PIC and TxRx for proper setup and operation.

Reader Input:

I will do my utmost to make progress on this project by next issue and report on what’s going on with it… the successes and failures. I sometimes learn more from a failure than from a success so let’s see how much of each we find. If something strikes you about this project… please email me at projects@botmag.com with what you think. I look forward to hearing from you!

Jeff

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