The plan for the NE-1 is to build a robot that is very versatile that anyone can build for cheap. In theory a clapped out Roomba makes sense but realistically they’ve probably had a hard life already and are broken in a number of incredibly subtle ways…

For a beginner this will lead to frustration and has an increased chance of giving up, as I have done on many occasions with this blasted (or sucky?) vacuum!

To that end I’m switching to the Pololu Rover 5 Chassis, this has either two- or four-wheel drive depending on the version you get and each motor has an encoder too.

I got mine from Cool Components, not sponsored but they’re just solid as a supplier, and for £45 it’s a bargain. The benefit of the door wheel drive model is extra power and the versatility of being able to switch to omniwheels. These allow the robot to move in any direction and I’ve wanted to play with them for a while. 

After learning about the issues with interrupts I’ll be switching to a Teensy too, they are a lot more powerful and every digital pin is interrupt capable.  As I’ll have a lot more encoders to deal with this will be ideal: 

The plan is otherwise the same, use off the shelf parts to make a simple but versatile robot.  The parts should be delivered this week and I’ll get a video sorted as an intro.

One thing to mention, my plan for phase two includes building an open-source robot hoover so we’ll get back around to that next year. 🙂