This project involves building an indoor self-driving mobile platform featured with laser scanner and ROS support. Here are some important features:

  • The body of the robot is laser cutted Acrylic chasis. I got within $10 from China. It also comes with 2 DC motor and holes for encoder mounting. It’s nice and small. I may design a larger Roomba like round robot with laser cutting parts later.

  • Two encoders are mounted on the bottom to read from the wheels, so that the speed can be controled and the odometry can be read.

  • A lidar (laser scanner) will be made using a LIDAR lite single beam laser range finder. There are two ways to make it: The easier way is to use a servo motor which we cannot get 360 degree continuous scanning. The better way is to use a hollow shaft DC motor with a slip ring and encoder so that we can get fast 360-degree scanning.

  • The low level controller is an Arduino board, which talks to the DC motor driver, encoder, LIDAR Lite and the Odroid.

  • The Brain of the robot is an Odroid U3 which is roughly 10 times faster than an RPi. I can run Ubuntu on it with ROS support, so that I can use gmapping for localization and navigation.