TupperBot 2.0: Compact and a bit more complex.
TupperBot 2.0 was again made with Tupperware, but
74 SERVO 08.2012
was much more complex than the previous versions. Let me
describe the internals of this robot.
TupperBot’s 2.0 Hardware
All the hardware had been designed to keep it modular,
so it was really easy to troubleshoot. Except for the
microcontroller boards, the rest of the circuits were built
using prototyping boards. I probably spent over a hundred
hours building these circuits.
• Control Towers: Both towers use customized Skypici
boards with a PIC18F2525. The taller one takes care of all
the main processes of the robot such as peripheral
communications and driving systems. The other tower
controls the servo signals, music generation, temperature,
• Motor Driver: Two parallel L298s drive the four
wheels in differential mode.
• Communications: The ER400TRS radio modem
sends all the local information to the computer where the
heavy calculations are done. Internally, the robot contains
two I2C and three serial ports to communicate with all the
• Sonar Sensors: Six SRF08s let TupperBot 2.0 know
about its environment so it can drive safely.
• Sound: One of the microcontrollers is able to play
some songs using one of its PWM pins. Modulating those
notes was fun!
• Video: I used a standard wired surveillance camera
with IR lights. Video is sent to the computer through a
wireless radio link.
• RGB Lighting: The robot is able to create any color
inside and even has a “heart,” making the Tupperbot 2.0
logo beat faster or slower depending on the speed of the
wheels. All the PWM control of the six different lights (RGB
+ IR camera light + white camera light + heart) is done by a
separate microcontroller embedded on the lid of the robot
TupperBot’s 2.0 Software
The software for this robot started off quite simple by
just controlling it from a keyboard or running the robot in
autonomous mode, but I started being interested in
designing different interfaces for my new toy. In just a few
months, I had more than 5,000 lines of code written for
controlling the robot. I used C# to do all the video
processing for the hand gesture’s control. VB.Net was used
for integrating other features such as a Wii remote control,
voice recognition, text to speech, etc. I used the old MS
Agent in the software. All the software is available on my
blog at www.tupperbot.com.
I gave several talks in Spain and the US about
TupperBot 2.0. It won four different contests in Spain and
even a gold medal at RoboGames 2010, so it has been a
very fun and productive project. However, I wanted to keep
it growing. In March ‘ 11, I decided to create a whole new
robot for RoboGames that same year. Of course, I only had
about one month to do it in!