Building Lumos – a Firefighting Robot with Arduino + Raspberry Pi (Tutorial!)

Hello everybody,

Happy New Year! This is my first 2013 post, hope this year is better than ever and hope that good fortune prevails among us all. I started this year by building Lumos, a fire seeking and fighting robot.

Lumos is driven by 2x 300 RPM 12v geared motors, and runs on a 2200mAh 2s LiPo (or 1000mAh 2s depending on the one I feel like using) Photos have the 2x 1000mAh packs. The brain is a Freeduino Mega ADK 2560 (Arduino Mega ADK clone) . The reason for choosing the more expensive Mega board is to take advantage of cheaper analog sensors since it has many Analog inputs. I plan to use a couple of IR distance sensors in addition to 5 LDRs to detect fire. In a couple of days, a Raspberry Pi will also be added to replace the LDRs with a camera. The RPi will be running OpenCV blob-detection for fire sensing which will be far more appropriate than LDRs.

Now, getting on to the shopping list (next post on this topic will have the tutorial for building the robot itself)

  • 2 x 300 RPM 12VDC motors with gearbox – Rs. 10 x 2 =  Rs. 200 (Higher RPM can be used to make robot faster ; but you will lose on torque)
  • 2 x wheels – Rs. 45 x 2 = Rs 90
  • 2 x Motor clamps – Rs. 20 x 2 = Rs. 40
  • 1 x Ball Caster – Rs 25
  • 1 x SN754410 High current motor driver – Rs 105 (Can be substituted with cheaper L293D which can handle lower current)
  • 20 x Female-Female jumper wires – Rs 5 x 20 = Rs. 100
  • Misc. accessories (wires, etc.)- Rs 10
  • Fiberglass plates – Rs. 10
  • *Microcontroller (already on hand ; more on that later)
  • Pack of zipties – Rs. 30
  • Screws + Spacers, etc. – Rs 50
  • **Power source (already on hand ; quite a few choices here, see below)

* You can use a regular Arduino (Leonardo or Uno) or a Mega or a Mega ADK or like me, you can use  an Arduino + Raspberry Pi

** Power source : I use LiPo packs, but they are expensive , require special chargers and are volatile (You can cause great harm by improperly using/charging LiPos). I have also tried LiFePO4 packs, which are a bit more forgiving, but still require special chargers. I prefer LiPos/LiFePO4 packs because their high power to weight ratio. I can get around 30 minutes of trundling around using a 1000 mAh 7.4v pack. For a small robot like Lumos, lead-acid packs are too heavy and have a bad power to weight ratio. Only other option are NiCD packs which can be easily charged and used. Use Google if you need more information on robot power sources.

Tools needed :

  • Drill
  • Soldering iron
  • Screwdriver
  • Hot glue gun

Build instructions in next post! Let me know if you would like any specific part of the build highlighted or how fast should I get the next post up!

Enjoy the pics for now:





4 responses to “Building Lumos – a Firefighting Robot with Arduino + Raspberry Pi (Tutorial!)

  1. Pingback: หุ่นยนต์ดับเพลิง Lumos | Raspberry Pi Thailand·

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