Desinging the robot

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Revision as of 10:03, 6 May 2018 by S164773 (talk | contribs)
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Preliminary Designs

In order to decide what kind of robot to make, some preliminary design have been developed, which can be used to make a more informed decision as to what kind of implantation mechanism is best to make.


For many seeds, being planted into the ground, at a certain depth, is beneficial for their growth chances. To this extend, a drill would work great. Either the drill could be made hollow, so it could drill a hole and drop the seed instantly, or a separate drill and seed dispenser could be made. By assembling the drill in the middle of the vehicle, and thus most likely with a hole in the base of the vehicle, the most force could be asserted onto the drill. Even though a hollow drill would be the best functioning mechanism, it would be hard to make in practice with the limited time given, which is why two separate mechanisms seem like the obvious choice. This would mean one drill, being assembles at the middle of the vehicle, and one seed dispenser, assembled at the back of the vehicle.

This dispenser could either truly put the seeds in the ground, by for example putting the seed on the end of a stick and pushing this stick into the ground. Or, it could drop the seed into the pre-drilled hole. The latter of these two options would be easier to produce, as the location of the hole can easily be found, (using the relative positions of the drill and dispenser) and it would save an entire part going into the ground, which is deemed a difficult part. The main advantage of the method truly putting the seed in the ground is that it minimizes falling trauma for the seed, as it is gently inserted into the ground. This, however, should not be a problem for the seed, as most seeds are used to being carried by the wind, and thus falling from far bigger heights than the ones talked about here. The main advantage of using a drilling mechanism is also one of its biggest drawbacks. Using a drill, you can very specifically control where the drill is used, and thus the upcoming forest can be planned down to the centimeter (assuming all seeds do sprout). This is great, as it can make sure that all species are there in the desired ratio’s, and everything can be planted as closely as possible to the desired location. But it does add the difficulty of navigation. It is very hard for the robot to find out exactly where it is right now, and thus where it should plant. As, when a planning is made for which seed to be placed where, down to the centimeter, the robot should also be able to find its own location, down to the centimeter. This necessary feature for the robot when a drill mechanism is used, is one that is difficult to get functioning precise enough, which is why it is not the focus point of this project. If the option for a drilling robot is chosen, the navigation issue will be left for further research.

An issue that should be dealt with is the one of the drill exerting a lot of force on the vehicle. In order for the drill to truly make a hole, a lot of force needs to be applied. Even if the ground is fairly ‘soft’, the robot is not envisioned to be either very large or very heavy, meaning that the force is big, relative to the robots size. This means that if the drilling mechanism is chosen, clear attention should be paid to the force it takes to drill this hole, and what the robots weight needs to be for this not to be a problem.

An advantage this mechanism has over other mechanisms, is that it puts the seeds at a pre-determined depth into the ground, meaning that an appropriate depth can be chosen for whichever species of seed is being planted. This can be beneficial for the seeds future prospects.

A difficulty this mechanism shows is the fact that if the drill is not being used, so when the vehicles is driving, the drill sticks out at the top. This means that the vehicle is bigger than it has to be (as it has an x cm drill sticking out of it). This decreases the vehicles mobility significantly. Beyond this, the vehicle also needs to drive fairly stable, as the drill cannot fall over. This cannot be fixed by attaching anything to the drill to hold it stable, as the drill still needs to go into the ground.