It has been 10 months since I last posted anything here.
I have been pretty busy finishing my degree, but fortunately
I had a chance to build some robots in class this year.
In the fall semester, I was part of a group of 6 people
that built an object-picking robot. It used a Polaroid sonar
sensor to detect an object from up to 10 meters (35 feet)
away, and then used a Sharp IR sensor (mounted on the arm)
when it got within a fairly close range (I think 30 cm, but
I can't remember). All of the motors and sensors were
controlled by an Altera UP-2 board mounted on the robot,
which we programmed using VHDL.
The project turned out to be a great success for us and
we aced the class. This was my first real robot building
experience and I'm quite pleased with it. I am also glad
that it happened in a classroom setting because I was (and
still am) pretty new to this, so at least I had some
knowledgeable people around me to answer some of my questions.
So now that I have that behind me, I'm looking forward to
starting a project of my own this summer. I still have a
Motorola microcontroller (M68HC12) sitting in my office from
last year which I could put to good use.