Blade Runner

Blade Runner This 'bot was built by Phil Davis, and was featured in Nuts & Volts Jul and Aug 2006. A much more detailed description written by Phil can be found there.

3D CAD Picture

This 'bot has some custom built wheels with tyres cast using a Soft Por-A-Mold Kit, molds for these wheels can be seen here, the finished wheel is 1.35" (~34mm) diameter by 1.2" (~30mm) wide. Drive comes from 2 Copal motors with 74:1 ratio gear heads and rated at 6v.

Blade Runner The over all width of the sumo is maintained with these wide wheels by mounting the motors within the hollow hub, the back end of the motor is held in a mounting block on the chassis.

Control comes from a “Brandon Board”, designed and names after Brandon Heller of the Robotics Club of Missouri, it has an Atmel mega32 microcontroller, a Texas Instruments SN754410 to give two 1A H-bridges, voltage regulation and a multiple headers for interfacing and programming.

A pair of Fairchild QRB1134 IR Photoreflectors give the edge detection and a Sharp range sensor is used for opponent detection.

The controller was programmed in C using WinAVR and FreeRTOS was used to give a Real Time Operating System. FreeRTOS allows tasks to be separated and prioritised, giving a more modular approach to software development. Atmel's AVR Studio is also useful for downloading and debug your program to the controller.


  1. Blade Runner - Phil Davis, Nuts & Volts Jul/Aug 2006
  2. Brandon Board Schematic - 4Mb Image
  3. WinAVR - open source software development tools for the Atmel AVR®
  4. AVR Studio - the Integrated Development Environment for AVR® applications
  5. FreeRTOS - a portable, open source, mini Real Time Kernel

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