Mecanumbot Hector SLAM

I finally set some time aside to build some maps of my apartment using a SLAM algorithm! I ended up using the hector_slam package in ROS to do the job. There was a lot of trial and error involved in turning my odometry and the hector_slam algorithm, but it eventually worked just fine. Check out the screenshots below! Links Mecanumbot ROS package

SolarSurfer Satellite Control

One of the most fun projects that I’ve gotten to work on recently was the SolarSurfer project. A unique aspect of that project which I hadn’t done before was remote control via a satellite connection. The project is extensively documented on Hackaday; check out the logs on satellite comm overview, real-time tracking, and mission simulation. Here is a short summary of the different project aspects: Developed telemetry protocol for bandwidth-constrained…

Mecanumbot Ball Following

I have updated my Mecanumbot code to the latest and greatest ROS distribution – Hydro. During the upgrade, I wrote a companion app to publish velocity commands based of of the output of my ball tracker. The result is that the Mecanumbot can follow a red ball around the room! I wrote the ball tracking code itself back in college. The segmentation approach is pretty naive, but I only spent…

Arduino and Django Data Logger

In an effort to demonstrate a new django-quick-start package I’m making at work (similar in purpose to pinax, but with some SpaceX-specific packages), I decided to create an Arduino data logger that is viewable through Django. The data from a couple different sensors is first collected with an Arduino. A Python daemon polls the Arduino periodically and asks for new data. The daemon saves this data to the Django database.…

Mecanumbot Integrated Lights Test

I’ve finally achieved end-to-end control of the Mecanumbot’s LEDs! The latest hurdle which prevented me from writing the LED code was a RAM limitation on the microcontroller side. The solution involved swapping over from an Arduino Duemilanove with 1KB of RAM to a Seeeduino Mega with 8KB of RAM. The increased RAM also opens the door for me to code up the Mecanumbot low-level telemetry including items like bus voltage and bus current.…

Legorov Teleoperating Robot

I built this little robot out of Lego this week (see picture.) The electronics include an Arduino, a Sparkfun xBee shield, and an Adafruit motor shield. On the other side of the xBee shield is a linux box running ROS. With ROS I can generated velocity messages from my keyboard or with a Wiimote. These messages get sent to the Arduino which translates the commands into individual motor speeds. I…

Starting New Project: The Mecanumbot

Alright. I have decided that I do not have the time or desire to figure out the controls problems that the Ball Bot presents. I really am interested in the navigation and localization challenges that I can work on with a functioning robotic platform. So what I need is a platform that is easy and that I know will work. Enter in the statically stable, four wheeled robot that I…

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…

The Ball Bot

I’ve started a new robot project! This will be one of the most challenges personal projects I’ve embarked on. I have the following goals: designed to be a flexible software test platform mechanical design from scratch in SolidWorks, manufactured from G10 low level control through off-the-shelve electronics including an Arduino, SparkFun Quadstepper motor controller, ITG-3200 Gyro, and BMA180 Accelerometer high-level control through mini-ITX computer onboard running ROS 2D SLAM w/…

Flying Wing

Check out my new flying wing! The plane is made from a pair of EasyStar wing tips, a custom kevlar body (thanks Geoff!), and a handfull of electronics. The design is loosely based off of the AeroVironment Wasp. Below is a short video showing a few build photos and a recent flight set to the smooth tones of The Black Keys. Check back later for some high resolution still photos…