E-puck essentials

There are a few small details to keep in mind when working with the E-Pucks. Some of these are meant to help you avoid small but annoying problems, and some are designed to protect the robots.

 

There is a thin cardboard flap on the front of the battery (the side with the small point). This cover is vulnerable. It can be damaged when the battery is inserted into the robot. To prevent damage, first insert the bottom of the battery and fully compress the springs. This should allow enough room to lower the front of the battery into the robot without touching the body. Once it is in place, release the battery and let the springs expand to hold the battery in place.

 

Do not grab the robot from the top like you would grab a tennis ball. If you do, your fingers are likely, at some point, to bend the IR proximity sensors inward. On some robots, you will find that one or two of the sensors have already been bent. Leave them as they are, and please try not to bend any more.

 

Please try not to bend the optical components of the IR communication ring. These are the components on the perimeter of the board.

 

To recharge a battery, remove it from the robot and insert it into the charger. The light on the charger will come on when the battery is charging and go off when the battery is done. Putting the battery in the charger is sometimes tricky. If the light doesn't come on but the battery should be charging, try moving the battery around slightly. It can be tough to get the right connections.

 

Keeping the batteries in small plastic bags prevents shorts between batteries and this should be

 

Sometimes, flipping the power switch does not turn the robot on even though the battery is charged. We think that some internal fault in the switch causes this. Just cycle the switch and it should work.

 

Near the green power LED there is a small orange LED. The orange LED is the low-battery indicator.

 

The motors can get hot with continuous use. A motor running at 30% speed for 15 minutes can get so hot that it will shut down. Unfortunately, there is no way to tell if the motors are getting too hot just by feeling the robots. You can remove the battery to expose the motors and see if they are warm or hot. But be careful - they can be really hot. Try to keep track of which robots have been moving a lot and give them a break.

Design by Christian Ahler

CS266 - E-pucks

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