Quick Manual Control Demo

This weekend I added a wireless Xbox controller to the list of devices I can use to control the Mecanumbot. Before now I’ve been able to use a standard RC transmitter, a computer keyboard, and a Wiimote. I again used the ROS framework to integrate the controller. Built into ROS is a joystick node to interface with the wireless USB dongle and I had already built a node to listen…

Mecanumbot Motor Testing

This passed week I have been playing with the new motors and motor drivers I got for the Mecanumbot. I used some MicroRAX pieces and the supplied motor brackets to piece everything today. I controlled the MD25 motor controllers over I2C using an Arduino which was getting commands from an RC transmitter. Unfortunately the naive method of reading in the RC receiver signals of only three channels takes up nearly…

Serial7 Arduino Library

I wrote an Arduino library for SparkFun’s serial 7-segment displays and figured others might find it useful. It essentially takes care of outputting a number over serial including shifting around the decimal point. A zip file of the library is available below. Here is the contents of the library readme file: This library is designed to output an arbitrary number to the SparkFun 7-segement serial displays (https://github.com/sparkfun/Serial7SegmentDisplay.) The included example…

Last Day at Illumin

Today is my last day at Illumin – the online magazine of the Viterbi School of Engineering. I held the position of webmaster for four years, and I like to think that I had a positive effect on the magazine. My biggest achievements during my time at Illumin was rewritting the entire content management system from scratch as well revamping the site styling. The new content management system helps Illumin staff manage…

Identify Duplos ROS Package

The goal of this project is to “count the Duplos on the table.” The tools available include a point cloud-­‐producing sensor (the Kinect), ROS, the Robotic Operating system from Willow Garage, and PCL, the Point Cloud library. An end goal for this project is to provide some usual information to another agent such as a robotic arm motion planner. The information provided could help the motion planner manipulate LEGO Duplos.…

The Urban Ice Cream Truck, an Xbox/Kinect Game

I took one of the CS499 special topics classes at school this semester, and in it each group made two Kinect-based games. This “Urban Ice Cream Truck” game was one of the two games that I helped make. I contributed the the Xbox and Kinect code, while other students contributed the artwork for the project. All of our games were based on Artem Kavalov’s Prime Engine framework. The goal of…

PlaneTools

  My biggest contribution to USC’s AeroDesign Team this year was a new MATLAB repository called PlaneTools. PlaneTools includes a collection of programs that aim to make airplane design easier. Chief among these programs is a mission simulator with simulates an airplane’s flight based on the rules of the AIAA Design/Build/Fly competition that we make planes for. A user of PlaneTools can construct a plane out of parts in the…

Scalable Advisory System for Structural Health

Woo! We finished our senior project. We have created a system of wireless accelerometers to measure the structural health of buildings. See below for some pictures and downloads. Abstract: A Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) System, relying on identification of changes to a structures resonant frequency to recognize potential structural damage and provide alerts, is designed and implemented. A module, using a 3-axis MEMS-based digital accelerometer, capable of measuring and wirelessly…

GameChuck, A Breadboard Game

A few months ago, I was introduced to the Arduino. The Arduino is a great little prototyping platform, but it has a limited number of I/O pins in the standard Duemilanove flavor. Well, I got my hands on an Arduino Mega tonight, the big brother of the Arduino Duemilanove, so I decided to make something with it. What I came up with is a little game called GameChuck. GameChuck works by lighting an…

CSCI 445 Robot

My favorite class so far at USC has been CSCI 445. The class is a general introduction to robots and teaching students a broad range of topics from robot kinematics to robot learning. Bust the best part of the class was the final project. The final project asks each group of students to create a robot that can navigate an environment and physically interact with the objects inside – all…