This is my version of the Palm Pilot Robot from the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon. It is basically a holonomic platform that utilizes a palm pilot as its microcontroller. If you have never seen an holonomic robot in action they are really amazing, they can go in any direction with out rotating their body, no front, back, left or right. They just go! Their website has a simple tutorial on how to make one and even has programs to download and bring it to life. I used this opportunity to figure out the ins and outs of the laser cutter which I have access to and design a chassis for the PalmBot. The concept for the chassis was to have individual layers with cut outs for items like controller, sensors, motors etc... All the hardware is held in place by the stacking of the layers, everything is sandwiched so no glue or fasteners for the individual components. The layers are held in a stack by the six bolts around the perimeter. It has three Sharp GP2D12 Infrared Rangefinders along with three continuos rotation servos for motion. SV203 servo controller board plugs in to the palm and has outputs for the motor controls as well as sensor inputs for the IR distance. Using the Sharp IR modules it can wander around avoiding stuff or follow a wall. My favorite program lets you draw a path on the palm's screen and it will duplicate it with its movements, but on a much larger scale.
I wanted to stay away from the typical circular planform so I based the plan view on a Reuleaux triangle. With this shape it still can rotate in place without any part moving outside of its wheelbase and still not get hung up on anything.
This is a photo of one of the chassis layers. Laser cut out of 1/8" plexi. Ashlar Graphite was the CAD program used. The other layers are similar but with cut outs for various components.
Chassis pieces stacked together for a test fit of the Sharp IR rangers which are set into the frame in order to increase their close up field of view.
Final assembled Palm Pilot Robot.