Cruising for ping pong balls

Hugo Zieg
3 min readApr 15, 2021

You may have seen high octane F1 cars, rocket ship drag cars, rocket launches and high speed boat races but all of these feats are about to be dwarfed by the engineering master piece that you are about to witness.

This blog will document the culmination of many hard days and long nights of fabrication and coding to create a mind boggling display of engineering knowledge.

For anyone that is lost I will quickly catch you up on what is happening. In my engineering design module we have been tasked with constructing and modifying an Elegoo Tumblerr to complete tasks that it was not initially designed for. In order to complete the task the robot must drive through a series of obstacles then come to rest and catch a number of ping pong balls that are propelled by a device that I have designed and built myself. While this does not sound difficult and time consuming the fact of the matter is a very time intensive task.

Course schematic
Course outline
Final course

In order to make the robot navigate the course I made functions for each direction of movement that the robot will have to preform. I then used these functions for various lengths of time at different speeds to create the course in arduino code. This is not as simple as it sound as the two motors of the robot do not operate at the same speeds I therefore had to account for this in my code this was done by doing many rounds of trial and error testing and adjusting the code slightly after each round.

This code is the adjusted code to account for the change in performance after the catching device was added to the robot. The code for the return journey had to be adjusted to account for the weight of the ping pong balls also.

Now for the main event…..

Thank you for keeping up to date on this project there is still more content to follow.