Building an Autonomous Ground Robot

Chris Jang writes,

“I’ve been building an autonomous ground robot for the last year. It’s not like most of the amateur robots seen on the web. It’s somewhat larger than usual and has two single board computers running Linux off compact flash. My hope is that this project is both useful and entertaining. I think I’ve made many mistakes of a first time robot builder. Others may be able to avoid these pitfalls as the historical documentation of the project is relatively detailed.”

Like many robot builders, Chris was inspired by the DARPA Grand Challenge. Jang’s four-wheeled robot is 3 feet long and weighs about 40 lbs. In addition to an AVR micro controller, it also sports two Geode-based Soekris Net 4801 SBCs.

For more details see the full list of specifications or the amazingly detailed build log which documents his year of work and includes many additional photos.

wireless…, posted 9 Feb 2006 at 10:16 UTC by JamesBruton »

That’s fairly impressive stuff, mainly because everything’s documented and there are lots of pictures (check out the change log).

I noticed the robot has a Belkin WiFi wireless router/access point on it (the white box on top in the later pics). I just bought one the same for my home network but I hadn’t considered putting it on a robot before… it seems like a good solution if the robot has more than one PC on board but you don’t want to put a wireless card in both – as the belkin box has a network switch built in.

solidarity.., posted 10 Feb 2006 at 11:51 UTC by »

This article is what prompted me to join up, as it is very similar to mine in a lot of ways – More people ought to get their DIY projects like this ‘out there’. Funded stuff is great to read about, but difficult to associate with. I wonder how the builder of this one answers the One Question That Everybody Asks…

‘So… what does it Do ?’

My standard answer is: ‘I have absolutely no idea, but watch your ankles, haha’.

I even see the same lathe and mill that I use lurking around – I wonder if he’s hit himself in the head with the chuck key yet ?

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