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How to Make A Robotic Vehicle to Detect & Destroy Targets?

With the development of technologies especially in robotic technology, robots are predominant in many of the applications. Some of those are of highly risky type and hazardous areas. Military and battle field applications are now growing their usage of robots in some crucial and complicated tasks.  In one of my articles I have described about the use of Robot as a spy in military operations. Now what if there is a need for the defense of the robotic vehicle or an attack by the robot? That is where the need for a robot embedded with an attack mechanism comes. One such example is the robotic vehicle with LASER gun.
RF Controlled Robotic Vehicle with Laser beam arrangement
RF Controlled Robotic Vehicle with Laser beam arrangement 

Such robot is used basically in military operations and also by traffic police to detect the speed of moving vehicles.
Before going to the details about Robots with Laser gun, let us have quick understanding of LASER as a weapon.

A LASER (Light Amplification by Simulation Emission) beam is actually a uni-directional strongly focused light unlike the one from a simple bulb. It consists of synchronized troughs and crests, i.e. the waves do not interfere with each other. This produces a strong focused light of very high power of the order of 1000 to 1 million times greater than a typical bulb light.  It is device that controls the emission and absorption of the photons by pumping sufficient amounts of energy. In this, source of photons are amplified into a beam of light. The wave length of these lasers are varies into different spectrum like visible, infrared and ultraviolet.

Principle behind the LASER revolves around three things; those are absorption, spontaneous emission and stimulated emission. An adequate amount of energy from the photon is interacts with the atom, causing the atom to jump from lower energy state to higher energy state. This atom is fall back to the lower energy state by emitting a photon called as spontaneous emission. In stimulated emission is the release of energy from the atom by artificial means. so the photon interacts with the excited atom, has the same energy and polarization as the incident photon.

Now let us have a look at the Hardware Parts of the Robot

  • Base: The base of such a robot can be any cubical body with wheels attached for its movement.
  • DC Motor: The robot consists of two DC motors driven by the motor drivers and provides required motion to the robot.
  • Control Unit: The robot motion is controlled using a RF communication module. The transmitter consists of pushbuttons, microcontroller, a decoder and a RF transmitter where as the receiver unit embedded on the robot consists of an encoder and RF receiver module to control the robotic motion.
  • A LASER gun: A LASER gun is mounted on the robot which performs the main task of the robot.

A Sneak Peak into the Robot Working

The robot while moving in the required direction shoots strong light beam from the LASER gun which can either harm the target or just produce a spot to detect the target. The LASER needs to be driven by some energy source. In a simple prototype design using a basic LASER pen, the device is driven by a transistor acting as a switch. The transistor receives low logic signal from the microcontroller and is in off condition, making the LASER module directly connected to the 5 V power supply.
LASER Gun Driven by Transistor Working as an InverterLaser Gun Driven by Transistor Working as an Inverter 

Controlling the Robot

To control the robot motion, the operation of the motors needs to be controlled. This can be done using RF controlled operation of the motor drivers. The commands are transmitted using a RF transmitter at some distance unit about 200 meters and received by the RF receiver to drive the motors.
The transmitter unit consists of several push buttons which act as command switches to move the robot in any desired direction. The push buttons are interfaced to the microcontroller, which is programmed to send data in parallel form based on the push button input, to the encoder. The encoder converts this parallel data to serial form and this serial data is transmitted using the RF transmitter module through an antenna.
Block Diagram Showing the Transmitter Section
Block Diagram Showing the Transmitter Section 

The receiver unit consists of an RF receiver module which receives the modulated signal and demodulates it. The decoder receives the demodulated signal in serial form and converts it into the parallel form. The microcontroller receives the signals and controls the motor driver accordingly. The motor driver used in LM293D which can control 2 motors at a time.
Block Diagram showing Receiver Section
Block Diagram showing Receiver Section 

Thus using RF communication we can control the robot.
In the above descriptions, I have given a brief idea about a simple prototype of a Robotic Vehicle with LASER beam. In real life applications, normally long range communication system like GSM or DTMF are used to control the robot from remote places.

3 Applications of Robotic Vehicle with Laser Gun:

  • Target Detection: The robotic vehicle can use the LASER beam to cause a spot on the target, such that it is easily visible and can be targeted. An example is the Air Borne LASER.
  • Target Destruction: A strong LASER beam of the order of 95GHz frequency can actually cause a burning sensation in the human body as it penetrates the skin by 1/64th of an inch and the beam energy can heat up the water molecules in the body. An example is the Active Denial System developed by USA.
  • Target Range Finder and speed detection: The LASER beam from the robotic vehicle can be used to find the range of the target by the principle of LASER light reflection and also speed of the target can be calculated once we can get the range.

So now we have a brief idea about Robots used a target detector and destroyer. Does it have any use for normal public other than just the military? Think and answer.

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