Starting New Project: The Mecanumbot

Alright. I have decided that I do not have the time or desire to figure out the controls problems that the Ball Bot presents. I really am interested in the navigation and localization challenges that I can work on with a functioning robotic platform. So what I need is a platform that is easy and that I know will work. Enter in the statically stable, four wheeled robot that I am calling the Mecanumbot.

As the rough drawing above shows, I plan to have four Mecanum wheels each with their own motor/encoder pair. Two motor driver boards will interface with two motors each. An Arduino Duemilanove will interface with the motor drivers over I2C. Two control methods will be present: a traditional RC receiver and a full-blown Mini-ITX computer. The plan is to have ROS running on the computer sending commands to the Arduino over USB. The robot will have a Kinect and a Neato laser scanner that will be used for navigation and other tasks. Two 6Ah batteries will power the whole system through a special power regulation board that will have to be developed. Some of the specific off-the-shelf parts are listed below. I’ll post updates as I make progress!


  • Qty. 4 Nexus 100mm mecanum wheels (2 left, 2 right)
  • Qty. 4 Devantech EMG30
  • Qty. 2 Devantech MD25
  • Qty. 1 Arduino Duemilanove
  • Qty. 1 Microsoft Kinect
  • Qty. 1 Neato Laser Scanner
  • Qty. 1 Zotac H67-ITX-C-E motherboard
  • Qty. 1 Intel Core i3-2100T CPU
  • Qty. 1 PNY Optima 8GB DDR3 SDRAM

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