30 Jan 2014 shimniok   » (Journeyer)

TOTT Bot, OpenMV, RoverPower, and more

I'm still working on TOTT Bot, the robot that takes out the trash. I've built a chassis with Actobotics parts, but want to rework it before I post more.

The more I think about it, the less I like the idea of grabbing and tilting or even lifting the trash can. I'd kind of like to explore turning my trash cans into trailers that the robot can hook up to and drag to the curb.

I'm also working with the creator of OpenMV to bring them to market as it were. We'd both love to see a really low cost machine vision module in the hands of hobbyists. One that is capable of 25fps face detection, real time color blob detection, USB support and more. Look for more updates over the next several weeks.

That's not all...

I've developed a compact RoverPower module that combines a 5V supply with battery voltage and current monitoring that will replace my
AttoPilot and Pololu 3.5A step down switching power supply.

Don't get me wrong, I love the Pololu supply. I have three. I recommend them all the time. But for my Rover I wanted to consolidate. So why is RoverPower a better configuration?
  • One compact board instead of two ungainly ones
  • It has mounting holes
  • I2C enabled because we never have enough ADC ports
  • 5V 1.5A supply with multiple output ports
  • User configured oversampling for low noise high resolution
  • Small at about 0.96" x 1.2"
  • Use any connector, not just Deans
  • Should handle 4S and 60A
  • This will cost notably less than AttoPilot ($19.95) and do more
A revision to RoverMux is in the works. The new version is simpler, just plug in and go. The BEC jumper (see above) is history. Revision 0.4 also fixes a missing AVRISP trace.

I'm excited to review the AVR Dragon debugger/programmer soon. I've been borrowing an exorbitantly priced JTAG ICE MkII for a few years. The Dragon is much cheaper but it looks like it can do a lot: HV programming, debugging, flashing in-system or out, and more. Can't wait to use it.

I'm also really eager to start working with the Freescale Freedom KL46Z. It's mbed compatible and has some neat peripherals: a microscopic 4-digit LCD display, accelerometer, magnetometer, capacitive touch slider, Arduino form factor headers, 48MHz Cortex M0+, 32K RAM, 256K Flash, lots of SPI, I2C, I2S, UART, PWM, ADC, and DAC peripherals.

I've become intrigued by Freescale ARM processors of late; they seem to pack a whollop with great price-for-performance ratios, really fast ADCs and more. And the Freedom boards seem a bit more usable than the daunting double-row-of-pins you get with a Discovery board.

I'm also working on a large display day/time clock for my mom. I've run into some snags with the enclosure but as soon as I get that wrapped I'll post up the build.

Syndicated 2014-01-30 17:00:00 (Updated 2014-01-30 17:00:04) from Michael Shimniok

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