Category: Rover

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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