Abstract

Robotics is a very active and diverse field with new applications found daily for emerging designs. This year ASME SDC emphasizes one such application with small RC robotic vehicles. These vehicles are primarily cargo carriers with the ability to harness wind and solar renewable energy sources to recharge their limited battery. Analog to modern electric battery-powered cars the robot utilizes a single AAA battery which was the biggest challenge of the competition. To satisfy all the requirements posed by the competition, a brand new vehicle platform was developed including both wind and solar charging capabilities. As part of the development process a new drive train, control system, wind turbine, and robot frame was developed. For performance maximization, all outsourced, as well as custom-designed components, were extensively researched and tested. Using test data and CAD software the final design was created including all the components selected during testing. This produced a successful prototype satisfying all competition requirements and being accepted to take part in SDC 2021. The maximum score achieved by the robot reached 0.4488 points using the given scoring matrix, however, it did not qualify for the final rounds of the competition. This project indicated several ideas that may improve the performance of small robots, such as the effective use of solar panels, the creation of systems with low power requirements, as well as the use of RC toys to develop more complex robotic vehicles.

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