Archive for December, 2011

Joey over at Techn’xt posted a new video. This special video features an interview with me. Joey is a great friend and has an excellent blog. Check it out! I have reposted the video below.

 

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My senior design project has made some great progress. Besides all the software we have written, we have now officially mechanically integrated our robotic arm with our NI DaNI base. There are still some minor issues to work out, but the majority of the work is done. In the new year, we will be working on creating a demo to show off the robot’s flexibility. We will be posting a video with the new, integrated system working after classes resume in January. Since we have a fair bit of time (about 2 months) remaining, we plan to go hog wild on this project. If its worth doing, it worth over-doing, right?

OpenElectrons.com has made an NXT replacement of sorts. Leveraging the power of the Arduino platform, this shield allows the popular prototyping tool to interface with 8 RC servo motors and NXT motors and sensors. The shield has some integrated buttons and operates over I2C. The library for the shield contains both hardware and software I2C implementations, allowing for full support of Mindsensors products at faster speeds.

The video below shows a simple program I wrote. Using the Mindsensors LineLeader and SumoEyes. The robot is constructed out of LEGO parts and uses LEGO MINDSTORMS motors and sensors. There are axle holes to mount the shield and the NXShield is small enough to use with other Arduino shields (think xBee shield or midi shield). Watch the video for more details, but this robot doesn’t even come close to using the full power of the Arduino platform. I have a few more projects in mind with the platform. In addition, I recently ported the library to the Maple. I am still doing some final testing, but if you would like to give it a try, post a comment below!

 

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I am in Mobile Robotics here at Rose-Hulman this term and my team is working with the original NI DaNI robot. Our latest lab asked us to add some IR sensors and some photo-resistors. Check out the upgrades! It is kind of fun to spend 4 (or more) hours a day playing with robots!

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We are entering the final stages of robot assembly and test. Last week, DaNI got a line following sensor from Parallax. This sensor is much like the Mindsensors Line Leader for LEGO MINDSTORMS. It has 8 IR light sensors that see the difference between the ground a line. We have a PID loop running on the FPGA on the NI Single-Board RIO to control out line following. Basically a PID loop helps us correct for not following the line correctly by using the error of our sensor measurements to determine which direction we need to move. To learn more about PID, wikipedia has a great article!
Also, Jason, one of my teammates, has finished the Inverse Kinematics for the arm. I have integrated the arm control into the motor drive train. The arm is scheduled to be mounted by Monday. After that we just need to physically validate our software drive model and we are done! Check out our video below!

Team Storm Success at Purdue FLL Regional

Posted: December 4, 2011 in LEGO, News
Tags: ,

Yesterday FLL Team 11930 “Team Storm” had a very successful competition. Team Storm had a top board score of 124 points and had a very success project, design and core values presentations. All of their hard work lead to finishing 7th place and moving on to the State Championship next weekend. In addition to our overall success, we also won the Gracious Professionalism Award. Everyone had a ton of fun and we look forward to competing next weekend! Wish us luck!