S.A.G.A.R. update – IT’S ALIVE!!!!

Posted in Projects by Bill
7 Apr 2010

Ok, so I’m a little overexcited. I just got back from watching SAGAR complete it’s first autonomous mission. I just finished coding the navigation functions and couldn’t wait till the next day to test. Attached is an image of the mission it ran.

I used a Ardupilot program to generate the mission file with waypoints, convert it to a hex file using gcc, and I manually flash that into the Axon’s EEPROM memory. When SAGAR comes online, I give it a command to scan the mission file in memory, then I command it to run the mission.

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S.A.G.A.R. Update, Compass Woes

Posted in Projects by Bill
6 Feb 2010

I have been asked by a few people how SAGAR is going, so I guess I need to do some updates more often. Anyway, SAGAR was shelved for a while. The last tests of the closed loop heading controller showed I had something messing with the compass readings. Further tests concluded that my batteries were biasing my compass.

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Irobot Create – Force Field Obstacle Avoidance

Posted in Projects by Bill
3 Feb 2010

While waiting for parts to come in for SAGAR, I decided I’d kill three birds with one stone. I wanted to adapt my Irobot command code to be compatible with Webbot’s Lib, I wanted to test Webbot’s new Project designer, and I wanted to try out a Force Field Obstacle Avoidance Algorithm. This is what I came up with.

It’s an Irobot Create, controlled by an Axon 2 running Webbot’s Lib, a Sharp IR and a standard servo. Theoretically, obstacles in front of the robot will ‘repel’ it while free space ‘attracts’ it. The closer and more directly in the way an obstacle is, the more it ‘repels’ it away.

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Saltwater Fish Tank Water Change System

Posted in Projects by Bill
17 Jan 2010

Not all my projects are robotic in nature. This one, a simple water change system for our 40 gallon saltwater tank, is one of those non-robotic projects. For those who are unfamiliar with fish tanks, about once a week you have to change out roughly 10% of the water. The way we have been doing water changes involved two trips to the toilet with a mob bucket, and a lot of mixing of water in the shower. I decided to build a better way.

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S.A.G.A.R.’s Smart Motor Controller

Posted in Projects by Bill
1 Jan 2010

Part 2 of my documenting of my robot project focuses on the just completed “Smart Motor Controller”. I call it a smart controller because, unlike other motor controllers on the market, mine utilizes feedback from the motors to precisely set wheel speeds and report back how far the robot has traveled.The brain of the controller is an Arduino Pro mini, pictured in this post. The actually driver H-bridge  is a Ardumoto from SparkFun.

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S.A.G.A.R. Semi-Autonomous Gps Assisted Rover

Posted in Projects by Bill
29 Dec 2009

Well, I finally have gotten around to posting about my current project, Sagar! (The name might be changed if i come up with a better one) Basically, in an effort to better understand the technology I use at my job in the Navy, I am building a robot from scratch. My hope is in the end to have a robot that can be driven remotely, or drive itself with the aid of a GPS and inertial navigation system as well as avoid obstacles and reroute around them. I want it to be able to ‘record’ a route while being driven remotely, then be able to ‘replay’ the path without any assistance.

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Xbox Mod

Posted in Projects by Bill
1 Dec 2009

XboxJust before I went to college I was given an Xbox as a gift and was finally introduced to the world of Halo. However, I was quickly bored with the game and didn’t have much use for the Xbox, until I found out about the new phenomenon of Xbox moding.

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Projector ATX Power Supply for Frankenjector!

Posted in Projects by Bill
1 Dec 2009

power

For a while in college I had an aging Ask Proxima projector I used in my living room. I got it for a steal on ebay because it had a broken lens. I was able to correct the lens problem and it worked beautifully for a year. Then suddenly, it refused to stay on.

I don’t like throwing things away, so when I got some free time, I decided to take a look at it. What I discovered by process of elimination was that the power supply for the onboard electronics had gone bad. There was no way to order a new one as this was a 10 year old projector. So I decided on something different.

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LED Flower

Posted in Projects by Bill
1 Dec 2009

flower

The LED flower is about the closest I have been to being and artist. One day I just had the motivation to build something artistic. I took a wire hanger and bent it into a shape of a self-standing flower. Cut up a milk jug to make the leaves and petals and glued a LED to each piece of plastic. I built a circuit on protoboard and installed it as the center of the flower. The circuit I designed uses a photodiode to turn a transistor on or off so that the LEDs are only on when the room is dark. The whole flower runs off two AAs but I soon hope to add a wall transformer to it.

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Senior Design Robot Video

Posted in Projects by Bill
1 Dec 2009

Here is the video of my Senior Design Robot. It would have won the 2009 IEEE SouthEast Con if it went, as it beats the robot that did win during every practice run.

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