Designing an Autonomous Spherical Robot

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Supervisor:
Szemenyei Márton
Department of Control Engineering and Information Technology

In the last few decades the research area of autonomous robots got more focus. Autonomous robots are doubtlessly useful in the industry, entertainment or household. With the rapid progression of research, more and more types of spherical robots were released, so nowadays none of them is surprising. For example, the Groundbot developed by Rotundus can roll in water or oil. In this thesis we wanted to create a BB-8 spherical robot, like the one that appeared in the Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens directed by J.J. Abrams.

The goal of the project was to make a spherical robot that can operate autonomously by using the sensors located in its head. According to plans, by the end of the development it would be able to balance, navigate, it would have directional hearing and facial recognition among other features. My task was to design a drive platform into the body of the robot that fits into the ball mechanically, and to design and implement a controller capable of moving the robot. Furthermore, my task was to design and create the part responsible for moving the head, which makes an elementary connection between the work of the student responsible for making the head and mine.

During the project laboratory work I prepared the BB-8’s construction plan, did some literature research, and selected the housing of the robot. During the thesis I produced the designed parts, then assembled them and implemented the controller.

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