Matthew Guenette - Design Notebook

Digitization of physical notebook coming soon...

9/07/2011 Meetings will be Fridays from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Possible Design Protocols:

Use RC Car as base. (motor driving rear wheels, basic steering control)

-Autonomous function?

  +complete a task
  +Arm with gripper
  +Paintball gun

-Web cam possible for user control -basic obstacle avoidance -Navigate a route

9/28/2011 Made block diagram

Webcam options:

  +Run through board
  +separate interface
  +Run to micro-controller boards (one for cameras, one for driving

Micro-controller selection:

  +Texas Instruments


  • Missed meeting due to Motorcycle Trip*

-Will get meeting notes from Jason


Decided on Vehicle Platform: Tank

  +Simple Drive controls
  +Large (1' x 2.5')
     -Good for mounting electronics
     -Shoots airsoft pellets
     -Good mounting for webcam

Will buy two so as to tear apart one

  -Reminder:  Ask Dr. J about finances


Got keycode, computer, and locker in ECE477 lab


Components that need to be decided on:

  +Development board
     -What features do we need
  +wireless Tranceiver
     -What functionality goals do we have for this robo-tank
  +GPS module
     -Use google maps


Couldn't make meeting (GRE) REMINDER: Catch up with Jason


Missed meeting, broken ankle REMINDER: Email Dr. J


VIP meeting

-Design presentation next week -WiFi interface

Website Design: Csharp vs Java

Disassembled Tank

  -ridiculously simple components
  -Plenty of room to put PCBs

Tank controller

 No variable speed

each control lever is actually a SPDT switch -if necessary, connect micro-controller to remote, quite simple

fixed broken controller

11/04/2011 Meeting

11/10/2011 Video Conference with Hong Kong

Met with team, discussed Hong Kong's ideas

-Motor controller -Hacked Wifi Module -Successfully sent serial data wirelessly over 802.11 network.

-Meetings will occur more often as semester winds down

Idea: Antennae Sensors Problem: push buttons as proximity sensors will require significant force, and very specific direction. May not prevent damage to tank

Solution: Antennae

                         ( I )

Conducting probe, rubber covered conductive base. That way, gentle taps will complete the circuit, notify the tank without it having to crash into things


Design Review Presentation Met at 4, practice presentation

While researching components for ECE362, found superior IR sensor for our obstacle avoidance.

11/15/2011 ECE 311 Exam - Couldn't attend meeting

11/17/2011 Skype meeting with Hong Kong -Discussed communication protocol -Start byte and end byte to certify purity of command packet

  +Status request?  (Vehicle returns status to user)
  +Specify request by sending packet with alternate start and end byte

-Set up dummy webpage to implement control designs

  Hong Kong using CGI script (Python)  for website control

11/18/2011 Weekly meeting -task: Determine final communication protocol

  -Checksum in Panda Board?

11/28/2011 Meeting -Camera working (slowly) -serial data successfully sent -worked on serial port transmission -Deciding on protocol

   -Checksum on panda board might be a bit excessive

12/01/2011 Teleconference -Agree on simple protocol -Use central server?

  ++ Collaboration
  -- Latency

Use website to send data to vehicle's control site, control that way -Decide on server setup by next week.

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