A robot can be defined as an electro-mechanical system with the capability of sensing its environment, manipulating it and acting according to the preprogrammed sequence. It is a machine that appears intelligent due to the
instructions it receives from a computer inside it which handles multiple
tasks. This article features a car robot, RoboCar which uses a microcontroller
to detect obstacles and manipulate its direction as per the inputs from
three infra-red (IR) sensors mounted in front of the car. The heart of the system is a microcontroller—Atmel AT89C52. It is programmed to accept inputs from its port p0 to sense the obstacles around it and control the steering to avoid any collision. There are three TSOP1738 IR sensors (Q1, Q2 and Q3) used in this project—one at the centre and theremaining two on the left and right
to detect obstructions, if any, in front of the Robocar In case of an obstacle, or a potential collision, the microcontroller controls the steering through a bipolar stepper motor which sensor TSOP1738 operates at a frequency of 38 kHz. NE555 timer IC is used for generating a pulse of 38 kHz and transmitted through IR LEDs. There are five IR LEDs—two each on the
left and right and one on the front of the robot. The reflected IR that beams
from the obstacles are received by the sensors and sent to the microcontroller. The microcontroller is programmed in such a way that it takes the decision and changes the path of the robot as per the sensors’ inputs to avoid the obstacles.