A floating robot to destroy bugs in swimming pools

, posted: 22-Aug-2007 17:11

If you live in New Zealand and own a swimming pool, you might have noticed a large presence of floating bugs in your pool after the recent rain. My children and I designed a floating robot to combat these bugs in recent weeks.

The robot, called SPIT (Swimming Pool Insect Terminator)  is a special self powered autonamous floating robot that locates and destroys small clusters of bugs that float on the top of swimming pools.
We used LEGO MINDSTORMS to build this. LEGO TECHNIC wheels are used as floats. The only non TECHNIC part that was used in this project is a can of inspect spray.
The robot uses the light sensor to detect the presence of insect cluster while the Ultrasonic sensor is used to avoid bumping into the side of the pool by telling the steering motor to turn. When the Light sensor detects a cluster of bugs it tells a motor to push the button on a can of Insect spray. Another motor is used to power the SPIT forward.

This is probably one of the hardest robots to design / construct and test as the water can damage the electronics very easilly. But we did it in the end and it actually worked!

If you want to see how to design your own SPIT, click here and follow the instructions and watch a video. All you need is a LEGO MINDSTORMS box and a can of insect spray.

If you got comments or suggestions for future projects, why not leave a comment below - Love to hear from you:

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BlueToothKiwi's profile

New Zealand

I am a project manager / consultant that specialises in implementing cloud computing and Customer Relationship Management Systems. I also develop applications and especially interested in Smart tablet interfaces and Clouds.

I live in Auckland with my partner and four children. For fun, I am into robotics - My children and I spend a lot of time building robots with LEGO MINDSTORMS. I am also one of the 30 people from around the world selected by LEGO as an MCP (Mindstorms Community Partner).

My other interests include mobile devices and mountain-biking.

Buy LEGO MINDSTORMS from Amazon.com