Update 11/6/13

We’ve made a bit of headway in the last couple of weeks. Josh has begun CADing a mechanical design for the frame of the robot. We received a couple of important product donations. We’ve also decided to develop a backup microcontroller system to the NI myRIO system using Stellarisware launchpads from TI.

Our goals for the design of the robot’s frame are that it be modular and allow for easy access and removal of components. Here is Josh’s current design, still in progress:

InitialDesign_Front InitialDesign_Isometric InitialDesign_Right InitialDesign_Top

 

We’ve received two major product donations in the last couple of weeks. The first is a SICK LiDAR unit from AutonomouStuff:

sick

According to the manual, it should provide range sensing information on a plane with 100 degrees field of view. Although we’ve been able to power it, we’ve been having some trouble communicating with it because it isn’t responding to serial commands. We’re currently debugging the problem with AutonomouStuff.

The second donation was a smacking new GNSS unit from Trimble, the BD982:

gps

Jimmy and I were recently able to use the unit’s Ethernet interface to obtain fairly accurate GPS coordinates from holding up the antennas in the ENS parking lot. We’re currently planning to use the Ethernet interface to programmatically receive coordinates as well.

Last meeting, we decided to begin to build a back-up microcontroller system using StellarisWare launchpads. Kevin Gilbert has taken on the job of duplicating last year’s Cypress PSoC interface on the launchpad boards, building on top of the Rasware library we wrote this summer for the boards, which uses our custom power-regulating boosterpack.

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