Wednesday, January 22, 2014

National Robotics Competition (NRC) 2012 - Lifter-BOT SK Wawasan

Introduction about the project in detail

A forklift truck is a powered industrial truck used to lift and transport materials. The modern forklift was developed in the 1920s by various companies. The forklift has since become an indispensable piece of equipment in manufacturing and warehousing operations.

In order to decrease work wages, reduce operational cost and improve productivity, automated forklifts have also been developed. Automated forklifts are also called forked automated guided vehicles and are already available from a growing number of suppliers.

Introduction of the robot

1. Our robot, Lifter-Bot can lift boxes and organize it according to color code.

2. Description of the Robot:

a. In the shape of a forklift.

b. It has an ultrasonic sensor to sense the distance between the robot and an obstacle.

c. It has color sensor to detect blue, red, yellow, white and green, but it is programmed to detect only 2 colors, red and blue. It uses three motors, one motor to raise and lower the lifter and two other motors to control the rotation of the tires.

Synopsis of the project
We used ideas from our Robotics manual, Google, Wikipedia and Youtube to obtain ideas to design our robot. We also substituted ideas from the pictures when building our robot. One long standing challenge in robotics is the realization of mobile autonomous robots able to operate safely in existing human workplaces in a way that their presence is accepted by the human occupants. We describe the development of a robotic forklift intended to operate alongside human personnel, handling palletized materials with existing, busy, semi-structured outdoor storage facilities.

Motivated by a desire for increased automation of logistics operations, we have decided to develop a robotic autonomous forklift capable of executing a limited set of commands to approach, engage, transport and place palletized cargo in a minimally-structured outdoor setting.

(b) Robot functionality
1. Lift or lower, and stack boxes (or things)
2. Move things
3. Organize things according to colour (red and blue)
4. Help human in manufacturing industry, during sorting and transportation of materials.

(c) Uniqueness and interactive behavior
1. One problem would be with the string which lifts the lifter. If the string is too tight it may snap and if it is too lose, it may not organize and stack things according to the programmed height.

2. The specialty about my Lifter-Bot is that, it is able to sort things according to color.

3. My robot can interact with others, by helping to reduce manpower in the manufacturing industry especially in the warehouse when things are sorted and organized.

Designing and Building Process
(a)Concept and Implementation
(b) Brainstorming and solution to the problem
1) String with lesser tension but of high strength, to be able to withstand greater weight.
2) Smoother string to produce less friction during lifting.
3) Color sensor to detect different colors.
4) Ultrasonic sensor to detect distance between robot and obstacle or rack.

(c) Engineering and stability of the structures.
1) Three motors. Two motors to move the Lifter-Bot and one motor to raise or lower the lifter.
2) One ultrasonic sensor, to enable the robot to detect any obstacle that is at the front.
3) One color sensor which is able to detect red and blue colors, and raise or lower the lifter according to the programmed height for each color.
4) One nylon string, approximately 30 cm, attached to one motor and lifter.

(a) Concept
This Forklift can drive around and steer on carpet or hard floors, lift loads that are placed in the pallet bucket 7 inches straight up, set them gently down on top of shelves or other platforms, and take them back down. The color sensor will detect the load and see what color is the load. The robot the place the pallet in different position of the shelves based on the color detected.

The Wiring and functionality of the input / output of the NXTs are listed in the table below.


Input /



Lifter  Motor

Lift the


Left Motor

the left wheel.



the right wheel.


Ultrasonic  Sensor

Detect the
distance of the shelves.


Color  Sensor

Detect the
color of the load.  

The robot will rise up the lift and check the color of the pallet bucket. It will check if it is red or green color load. Then the robot will go straight unlimited until some objected is detected from 14 inches to 20 inches. The robot will stop.

If red, color load is detected, the robot will rise up the lift and put the load on the top shelve. If green color load is detected, the robot will rise up to the middle of the shelves and place the bucket on it.

The Rotation sensor is used to let the robot move back to the original starting position.

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