“Hi everyone! My name is Tyler Erwin and I’m a senior at San Jose State University majoring in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Robotics. I was joined on this project by Michael Kamas, Julia Casares-Iglesias, Charlie Nino, and Eric Ling. They are all majoring in Mechanical Engineering as well. We’re all members of SJSU’s American Society of Mechanical Engineering (ASME).
Our Project was to develop an Electric Vehicle charging robot to overcome some of the limitations of charging electric vehicles. There are ongoing research studies of automated robotics being utilized to charge electric vehicles in order to minimize user interaction with the pump. Our mechanical engineering department has a similar project that we used as a reference to ensure our drone ran efficiently. To make our robot unique, we utilized a square design, color sensors for lane detection, created code with MicroPython, and placed the scissor jack component on the top of the robot. Additionally, our vehicle isnt large enough to charge an electric vehicle. However, our robot can be used to charge a cellular device. However, this robot can be developed at a larger scale to hold the correct charging components for an electric vehicle.
Our model is fully functioning and shows an understanding of how mecanum wheels, object detection, lane detection, robotics controls and processing from various sensors. Our vehicle can follow a lane to a charging point, charge at the station, then return from the station to rest at the resting point.
As one of the leading innovative fields shaping our future, electric vehicles are an evolving market that requires numerous innovative solutions in order to function. One of the leading aspects of EVs that cause them to be under appraised is the limits of charging. Not only for the consumer, but for the manufacturer, storage and sites are in high demand across the nation. Stations require complex build planning that costs exuberant amounts. Additionally, for the consumer, sometimes it may be hard for the individual to grasp how to charge their vehicle.
In our design some of the components we incorporated are the Raspberry Pi Pico, Motor Drivers ‘H-Bridge- L298 Module’, Grove Distance Sensors, 6V Battery pack and two TCS34725 Color and Light Sensors. Our vehicle is modular, so the lower part of the vehicle is the drive and main sensor compartment, with the upper section being used to actuate the scissor jack. We need to be able to detect lane changes, so a color sensor was determined in order to meet this objective. It does so by detecting the HUE value of the floor in which the robot rolls on, and based on this color it will actuate the mecanum wheels in a specific direction. Mecanum wheels are wheels with an omnidirectional design in order to allow vehicles to move in any direction. In order to achieve the direction changes of the vehicle, we needed 4 mecanum wheels connected to two drivers. One driver ran two of the same mecanum wheels, whether it be the left or right, in parallel. The voltage required to run this system made one of our additional objectives to find a battery system that controls the pico and the drivers separately. The mecanum wheels when run in the system can cause the vehicle to go forwards, backwards, strafe left, and strafe right. Then we wanted to make sure if the vehicle approaches an obstacle or wall, it doesn’t proceed to run into it. We utilized a distance sensor on each side of the vehicle in order to detect objects approaching and prevent the vehicle from crashing. We also connected LEDs into the system and utilized the Maker Pi Pico’s speaker in order to give information to the user of what state the vehicle is in and what it is detecting. This includes whether an object is detected, a color is detected, a charging point is identified, or the resting point is identified.”