Category: Rover

ROS and sounds or how to make your droid to say the Dalek Exterminate!!!

Audio feedback from your robot

Intro

After our previous post where Bence explained that roboticists should be careful doing scary stuff with their robot, I thought I need to do some with mine to troll ourselves. So why shouldn’t my robot sound like this when it is moving:

 

 

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Beaglebone + thermal sensor with ROS

Robots self testing

As we build more complex robots we need more feedback from them to know what state they are in. In my case I want to know some temperature information about my rover. These things are the motors, the outside environment, and the battery temperature. For this purpose, I want to create an Arduino thermal sensor. Later it will be only an Atmel chip with the sensors but for prototyping and developing the Arduino is the best solution.
The central computer on the Rovers will be Beaglebone. So after I create the thermal sensor, I need to make the communication between these devices. If that is done, the only thing is left to make the ROS package. I have chosen ROS because in the near future I want to make more sensors and ROS is ideal for information distributing.

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MotorController Python class and ROS node for the BeagleBone

Today I’m going to present the MotorController class for Python that handles – guess what – a motor controller using a BeagleBone along ROS wrapper node.

Usually motor controller hardwares are operating with 2 wires per channel: a PWM signal for speed and a  “boolean” signal for direction. It’s quite easy to handle such things using an Arduino but we’re trying to get rid of extra hardware since the BeagleBone is also capable of solving all this stuff.

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Born of the Firebug rover or an old friend is back

Yesterday we went to our evil genius friend  to ask him to make a new rover for us. Instead of making a new one we ended up reviving an old rover.

This rover was our robot in the competition of Magyarok a Marson 2011 (Hungarian on Mars). The competition was similar to a capture the flag game, with four rovers on the field at the same time.
We weren’t that experienced that time (and our budge was low) so the project failed. We were good in the first round but unfortunately at the second round some smoke has been made and the motorcontroller went to the robo-heaven. Also we smoked an 25A car fuse, yeah something was very bad in our design. We didn’t have the automatic control in time so we used the manual version. In this case we had to use 15 sec delay between two command to follow the rules. We started the blog roughly after two months to the competition. Here is a picture of the rover at that time.
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Web interface for a BeagleBone controlled robot

Given a situation where one needs to implement a simple RC interface for a robot. What’s more straightforward? We could create a thick client and implement a server application for the robot but that’s too complicated. In order to have something light-weight and portable I was thinking of implementing the RC interface using some HTML and possibly some cgi.

The outcome of this tutorial will be a webpage that looks like this:


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Building a Rover project day 7 – assembly 2

Since now we have the wifi working, continuing the effort of last time we finally got to do the next assembly step.

Mounting the BeagleBone on the rover.

It was no big deal.

4 screws to fix the BeagleBone onto the plastic board, some tape for a USB hub and some ideas to hide those way too long USB cables somewhere.

The camera is just for prank, we will have to think of a place to put it, and also a way to hide it’s cable.
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Building a Rover project day 6 – wifi

Important note: This steps were validated on the following Angström version:

Angstrom-Cloud9-IDE-GNOME-eglibc-ipk-v2012.05-beaglebone-2012.06.18.img.xz

The difference between this and the previous tutorial is that in the new version of Angström they introduced a light-weight network manager daemon called connman. On one hand this makes things easier but on the other hand it renders all the old tutorials unusable.


To see how to get your hardware running with the BeagleBone read this tutorial:
http://wp.me/p1ILL7-9l
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