A Landmine-Clearing Robot. Free Essay Example

Published: 2023-01-03
A Landmine-Clearing Robot. Free Essay Example
Type of paper:  Report
Categories:  Company Productivity Engineering Electronics Security
Pages: 8
Wordcount: 1989 words
17 min read

Landmines can be hazardous to a human being if not handled with a lot of caution. For this reason, most people opt to use robots to extract landmines and take them to an area where their probability of causing harm to human is low. In this case scenario, landmines were disguised with other objects that are harmless in an isolated area. Therefore, the team was tasked to design and build a robot that will search for the landmines with the aid of an indicative signal and help in the safe transfer of landmines to a collection area so that human beings are not exposed to danger and unfriendly conditions. The team was to ensure that the robot is designed to detect and distinguish the landmines from the harmless objects so that only the landmines are moved to the collection area. A demonstration of how the robot operates was done without touching the robot after the operation began.

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Design Problem and Requirements

The robot was made to depart from a home position to the isolated area purposely to move as many landmines as possible to the collection area and was to detect the landmines using the light signals. The robot was to be designed using solid materials in such a way that they would not drop its pieces in due course of operation. Both the pucks on the landmines and the harmless objects were not to be manipulated in the movement process. Various materials were required to build the robot. One NI myDAQ kit and its accessories were used to aid in the acquisition of sensor data and control the motors. LEGO parts were used to build various parts of the robot; microswitches, DC motors, servo motor driver, LEDs, battery pack, and a charger were also used to make the robot.

Background Research

Designing the robot required the use of various components that one needed to have basic knowledge of. For each team member to effectively understand and contribute towards the design of the robot, the team decided to conduct background research on the applications and capabilities of some components as discussed below.

Phototransistors and Sensors

According to Lee and Song (2007), a phototransistor is a semiconductor and a light sensor that is formed from a transistor using a transparent cover that enhances sensitivity as opposed to a photodiode. It is a semiconductor device that has three layers and has a light-sensitivity base region. According to Ahmed et al. (2014), most automated tasks around the offices, homes, and in public are achieved with the help of sensors. Sensors perform various tasks such as detecting obstacles, speed control, positions, height, and many others. Data is usually collected from the sensors by a computer so that the data is processed and comparison with pre-designed values done.

The sensors which facilitate inputs to the computer, the computers which are the central processing unit of the system, and the mechanics which form the output of the system such as motors and engine are all essential parameters in designing and building a successful automated system like the landmine collecting robot in the case of this project. There are various types of sensors that are widely applicable to multiple systems. The proximity sensor is an example of a sensor that is a non-contact type that operates by detecting an obstacle or object. The proximity sensor is typically implemented using various techniques such as Hall Effect, ultrasonic, and optical such as laser or infrared, among other techniques. The proximity sensor is widely applied in cars as parking sensors, mobile phones, and object alignment in industries, ground proximity in aircraft among other applications.

Gearing and Motors

According to Zaidi, Aviyente, Salman, Shin, and Strangas (2011), a gear motor involves either alternating current or direct current motor that is coupled with transmission or gearbox. A gear motor facilitates mechanical gears to impact the motor by altering the system's speed or torque. A direct current (DC) motor can be defined as a machine that transforms rotating mechanical energy from electric energy. Its movement is caused by electromagnetism since DC motor has inductors in them which act as the producers of the magnetic field that is used to generate movement. A DC motor without gears is used in various applications.

Gear reduction is a common practice when it comes to gear and motor operations. According to Kanai, Tanaka, Matsushita, and Endo (2017), to reduce the speed and increase the torque of a rotary machine, for instance, an electronic motor or an engine, the gears are always used to accomplish such tasks. The rotational speed of the engine or a rotary machine is reduced b dividing it using a gear ration that is greater than one to one. This gear ratio that is greater than one to one is often achieved when a smaller gear with half the number of teeth of the bigger gear is meshed to drive the larger gear. Gear reduction affects the torque or force of a machine negatively since the application of a smaller gear to drive the bigger gear increases force and thus the increased ability of a machine to climb up a hill with ease.


Microswitches are small sensors that usually respond by stopping a machine in cases of abnormalities or by sensing pressure or movement from the surrounding (Yang, Lichtenwalner, Morris, Krim, & Kingon 2010). The most common actuator options are styrene float, basic plunger, paddle, weight, leaf, current, and physical contact or passing motion.

Final Design Solution

The possible solution to the project problem would be to incorporate various electric and non-electric components to build up a self-controlling and effective robot system that is economical and environmentally friendly to help in the searching and relocation of landmines to safe areas without necessary involving human in the operations at the isolated and dangerous sites

For best results and solution to the project problem and designing of the robot, there had to be consideration of various aspects such as the mechanism for the relocation of the pucks by the robot as well as positioning of the motors, sensors, and switches. The movement of the robot was to be enhanced by installing several wheels. Even though four wheels would improve the robot's stability, the team decided to install only two wheels to facilitate its movement. The decision was reached upon after considering the ease at which the robot would make tight turns when having two wheels as opposed to four or more wheels. Its stability aspect was, however, enhanced further by installing a rotating metal ball that was more convenient and would not complicate the turning capabilities of the robot.

The main task of the project was to relocate the landmine pucks from the isolated area to the collection area without manipulating them as well as the harmless objects. To achieve this, the team considered using either lever arm or a claw. The lever arm would relocate the landmines by dropping down over the puck and push it to the safe zone whereas the claw would lift the puck and drop it to the collection area. A gear system was also installed to control and slow down the speed of wheels that were as a result of the motor so that the robot would easily lift the pucks and drop them to the safe area while at a suitable speed.

The team also saw it wise to consider the position the sensors would be installed for the efficiency of detecting the correct puck to be picked. The sensors were thus installed at the front of the robot and slightly elevated above the center of the claw purposely to allow the puck to slide into the claw for scanning and determining whether the puck is a red one or a blue one. Upon scanning and determining what puck is picked, the claw would close if it is a red puck and proceed to the collection area for offloading. The team also decided to install the sensor scanning the floor to detect the black line at the front of the robot. However, this sensor needed to be positioned in such a way that its efficiency would not be affected by the claw in the process of collecting the puck.

The team also considered the installation of microswitches and their positioning. The microswitches would help in detection of bumps and avoiding possible collision to the wall by the robot. The team decided that the microswitches be installed behind a long piece of LEGO so that the amount of contact the robot has with the wall is reduced. When the edge of the long LEGO comes into contact with the wall, it will be pushed back, and the microswitches will be triggered hence stopping the robot so that it can be controlled and directed away from the obstacle. The LEGO pieces and the micro switches will be placed at the front both left and right to detect any obstacle that is before the robot.

The team also thought that to increase the stability and lower the center of gravity of the robot, the components used in building it such as the NI my-DAQ system, the motor driver and batteries were put as close to the wheel axle as possible. That made it a structurally sound design for the system. Various materials were required to design and build the landmine clearing robot successfully. The most fundamental components include the LEGO parts, which were used to form different body parts of the robot. Data acquisition tools such as phototransistors which would help in giving an analog output related to light intensity and help differentiate the puck, the programs designed by MATLAB to assist in operating the robot and the motors which were responsible for its movement.

Each component used in building the robot was designed to perform specific functions. Some of the components and their functions are already mentioned. The team thought it wise to highlight each function of the parts. The NI my-DAQ was designed to receive the coding from MATLAB which, as a result, will be sent to the motor driver, making it initiate movement and hence the robot would start operating. The DC motors that were attached to the motor driver were purposed to turn the wheels to help the robot make turns and efficiently move around. The servo motor was used to aid in opening and closing the claw whenever a puck is picked and dropped from the isolated area and collection area respectively. The microswitches were purposed to communicate with MATLAB in case of a collision with the wall by the robot, and as a result, a series of coding occurs to avoid further collision and damages. Phototransistors were used to scan the ground and the others to scan the pucks. The battery pack and the charger were used as the source of power that propelled the motors.

Conclusion and Recommendation

This project was designed to build a landmine clearing robot that will be self operational without its parts falling off. The report has described the project task and requirements that are essential for the successful completion of the project. Background research has been conducted on the vital components of the research, such as the gearing and motor, micro switches, and phototransistors and sensors. All these components are deemed critical to the building up of the landmine robot. A final solution for the problem is described by highlighting the essential aspects that had to be considered for building an efficient robot. The positioning of the sensors is considered to be one of the vital aspects. The number of wheels was also decided upon considering the ease at which the robot would turn when it has two wheels as opposed to four wheels. Stabilization of the robot was also a critical aspect that has been taken care of by installing a rotating metal ball. The LEGO was used to build its parts to ensure they do not fall off during its operation.

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A Landmine-Clearing Robot. Free Essay Example. (2023, Jan 03). Retrieved from https://speedypaper.com/essays/a-landmine-clearing-robot

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