Make Your Own MSP430 Launchpad based Robot
Hi Guys & Gals welcome to my MSP430 based robot building tutorial.
This tutorial serves as a short introduction to Robotics using MSP430 microcontroller and Launchpad development board from TI.Here we will build a small differential powered robot from scratch using MSP430G2553 controller and L293D motor control chip.MSP430G2553 is an extremely cheap low power that comes along with the Launchpad microcontroller kit from Texas Instruments(MSP-EXP430G2), They usually provide two extra controllers along with the launchpad development board.
This tutorial follows a DIY ethic and can be assembled easily with things lying around in your garage, only exception is the Launchpad micro controller kit which you have to purchase from Texas instruments.The Frame of the robot is constructed from cardboard and the circuit is assembled on a general purpose PCB using a mixture of through hole and SMD components (mostly resistors and capacitors) .In case you are not comfortable with SMD you can use through hole components.
In case you dont want to build the whole thing you can purchase the shield containing all the electronics parts ( except MSP430) which you can plug over your MSP430 Launchpad development board from TI.The Shield can be purchased from here.
The robot building tutorial using MSP430 Motor Control Booster Pack (AKA MSP430 Robot Booster Pack) can be found here
Sourcecodes & Design Files
All the source files and schematics used in this tutorial can be downloaded from our GitHub Page.
If you are new to Github Check this article to download code .
Features of the Robot
- MSP430 based controller (MSP430G2553) for providing the intelligence to the robot.
- Differential Drive configuration using two geared motors(12V),No caster wheel (robot slides on a cardboard notch at the back)
- 6 bit external port for connecting line sensors, IR obstacle sensors, wheel encoders etc.
- L293D based motor control for locomotion.
- RS485 based serial communication.
- Uses standard battery or a power cord tethered to a DC source(No rechargeable battery or charging circuit is provided to minimize cost and complexity)
What you can do with the Robot ?
The correct answer for the above line should be “Anything”,well its your robot and you are building it so you are only limited by your imagination. These are things I plan on doing with my version.
- Create a line following robot and maybe use it solve a Line Maze.
- Control the robot remotely from your PC using a RS485 link.
- Build an IR obstacle system so the robot can navigate autonomously around your room
Building the Robot
So lets start building your MSP430 based robot project.I have divided the construction of the robot into different stages like buliding the frame, building the electronics etc so that we can concentrate our attention on a single stage.You can also skip over some of the phases like if you already have a mehanial frame,you can skip the frame construction part.