Recent blog entries for lnxfergy

13 Mar 2008 (updated 13 Mar 2008 at 18:01 UTC) »

It's been a while since I've posted on this site (just under two years in fact). In that time I've made a lot of progress on several projects, and just in my knowledge of robotics.

Over the past year I have gone through a total redevelopment of my robot hardware. I've moved from using PSoCs in my robots to using Atmel AVRs. I love AVRs. AVR-GCC is a great, and free, compiler - but the greatest thing about AVRs is their tolerance to power supply fluctuation caused by motors. I've also discovered the LM2940CT-5.0 power regulator, which is a great and fairly inexpensive regulator. The 2940 is easier to set up and I seem to get better results than with the 5V switching regulators from Maxim that I had been messing around with (until they discontinued them). For my latest robot, GMR (which is still under consruction), I purchased some of Lynxmotion's new Servo Erector Set parts to make the neck pan and tilt - I was very impressed with the parts.

This semester I've been taking a robotics course through UAlbany. We are using Sony AIBOs, with Tekkotsu. In theory this is a really nice package - a behavior based, c++ programmable robot. Unfortunately much of the documentation is poor or out of date, and some of the constructs in Tekkotsu are incredibly non-standard and hard to understand. All-in-all though I like the idea, and once you get used to (and figure out how to) use Tekkotsu, it's quite nice.

Finally, I'm working on my third (and probably final) robot for the senior division of the Trinity Fire Fighting competition. I believe I have really worked out all of the kinks of previous years (poor drive train, sensor placement, power failures). The underlying software design is really over the top for the problem at hand , but it is planned in such a way that it can be extended to a future Expert division robot. The competition is about a month away - so far I have the robot navigating the maze with near perfection. The room search functions are currently non as reliable, but I have high hopes for Bayesian analysis method of filtering the UVTron. I've got some information on all of my projects on my website


Two weeks to go...

before the Trinity Fire Fighting Competition. The mechanical stuff is all done, the electrical stuff is all done, the motion control is working. Now I just have to make the robot actually fight fires and search the maze.

I put up a few quick pictures and a hardware description of the Little Green Machine II on my website


8 Mar 2006 (updated 10 Mar 2008 at 04:21 UTC) »
Projects, Projects, Projects
So next week is spring break, and I am really looking forward to finally having time to finish up the LGM2 for the Trinity Fire Fighting Contest. I also hope to post a couple updates to my website in the next couple weeks.


14 Jan 2004 (updated 23 Mar 2006 at 22:42 UTC) »
Short Stuff Update
Well, its October. Fall break is in a week and half and if all goes to plan I will be plugging the first prototype of boards for Short Stuff and testing him out.


19 Sep 2003 (updated 23 Mar 2006 at 22:43 UTC) »
3 Aug 2003 (updated 4 Aug 2003 at 00:39 UTC) »
Short Stuff Pictures
After a lot of work, I finally have a prototype of short stuff done. I still need to add the suspension on the front and rear casters, and I think I might redo the head, but it finally is coming along.

See Short Stuff


Website Update And OOPic Info
Well I am updating my site again, and giving it an entirely new appearance. I am also working on another application note to show off how I have modified my OOPic II to make it more useful. I hope to have the info on my object based PID motor controller up by week's end.


Website Update
I took a short break from Short Stuff, I will probably be working on his base again this weekend. In the mean time I am building another robot from the boxes of parts I have bought but haven't used, I'm working on making him a fire fighting robot. I should have the pictures up by tonight so check it out a little later.


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