Whooboy... The Zaza Phase IV deployment target is edging ever closer, and quite a bit has been done to wrap things up, but there is more to do. I have made major updates to reaction, poslibtcx and poslib and a bunch of minor updates to the map applet, face, and voice system since the last post.
Last weekend's test run went very well. All of the software modules performed flawlessly. The only problem observed was an ACCESS.bus lockup at the end of the run.
Three weeks ago the DC/DC converter that supplies the -12V reference voltage for both of the motherboards on the robot failed and needed to be replaced. Unfortunately the RocketPort serial board needs this voltage to drive the serial interfaces for three of the robot's subsystems. A drop-in replacement part wasn't available, so a TI PT4224 had to be installed in it's place. The new part is substantially more efficient, but larger and a different form factor so it required an adapter board to be made. Removing the old part was a real exercise. The power distribution board needed to be removed from the robot which took about an hour and a half. Then the old part needed to be delicately removed with a Dremel tool and large pair of Vise-Grips ;) The new part was installed and tested operational less than a week after the old part failed, but I might have stressed the ACESS.bus cables a bit re-installing the power distribution board causing the overly sensitive bus to be even more flakey. I'll need to fix this before next weekend's run.
I'll be announcing a limited public run of the new web-based tourguide functionality (Phase IV) for TRCY club members this week for next Saturday's run. If you aren't already a member, join and get in on the fun!