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Final thoughts for Embedded Robotics class: December 6, 2011

Filed under: Ideas for embedded robotics — nsua @ 9:13 pm

Well, it’s the end of the semester so it’s time to reflect. Would we do anything differently? How so? Could anything have been done to make the process a little smoother and possibly help the project move a little further? Definitely.

There were issues from the very beginning, and even though it made for a very interesting and thought provoking project, I believe certain information would have taken some of the non-engineering issues out of the equation. For instance, the wheels on the Robot were a big issue and a complaint that everyone seemed to have. But until the bot was actually built and testing had begun, we had no idea it was even going to be an issue. The bot ran differently on different surfaces, that would have been good to know before starting the drawing process. Even knowing the bots limited mobility, in reference to the “pen holder” so that original drawing designs could take that into account would have helped. Little things here and there that started to pile up could have been avoided just by knowing them ahead of time.

The type of pen that could be used. Would it even be a pen? Could it be a marker, spray paint…? The marker we used was way too big, but only because the weight of the pen was on the paper and not supported by the holder. So, imagine trying to write with your pencil dragging, your paper will want to move with the you unless you hold it down. Another small thing, the angle of the pen holder. It should be slightly slanted, when you write on a sheet of paper your hand holds it at an angle, it’s never 90 degrees with the paper.

There were all little things, and granted some of them were unexpected and only discovered when we began testing. For the future though, if the same thing was attempted, a heads up on these problems would be helpful.


Bluetooth SIG November 26, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — nsua @ 5:20 pm

Did you know, Bluetooth is managed by a Bluetooth Special Interest Group? They’re known as SIG, which has over 15,000 member companies. Whenever a product is or will be developed the SIG oversees the specification, manages the qualification program, and protects the trademarks. Any product that wishes to be marketed as a Bluetooth device must meet standards specified by the SIG. So let’s say you’re developing your own unique concept product, and you plan on using Bluetooth to realize your goal. This will be a big marketing point, advertising that whatever it is you’re creating is a Bluetooth Smart or Smart Ready device. However, even though it’s an open protocol it may still be reguarded as proprietary. Your device may have to meet the SIG’s standards in order to implement their technology and create patents for your own product. Just a little food for thought…


Building the Robot… November 21, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — nsua @ 10:06 pm

About a week ago was my first experience dealing with the robot. I was able to test for power consumption (which I blogged about previously) and sodered some wires that were previously placed on a larger bread board. In order for it not to poke out of the front of the bot we found a smaller square board we could switch to but we needed to soder all the inlets (pins) for the wires we would use and the grounds we would need. It probably would have been easier to do all of the sodering if we had a wiring diagram done before begining. Once you start to soder it’s harder to remove stuff and reorganize and adjust everything. It also helps to make sure you don’t lose track of what wire goes to what pin. Very important to keep it all straight.


Bluetooth v4.0

Filed under: Uncategorized — nsua @ 9:48 pm

So, I was browsing the web and I came upon an article that talked about the new bluetooth v4.0 and it’s relation to the new Motorola Droid RAZR. It talked about the phones SmartActions software in order to manage the phone’s battery life. I thought this was strange considering it is one of the first phones with Bluetooth v4.0 technology and it’s suppose to use virtually no power. It allows any device that is bluetooth v4.0 compatible the ability to interact with small electronic devices. They do classify the two into Smart and Smart Ready devices, for example the Smart Ready device would be the RAZR and a Smart device would be a wristwatch or IDtag. So the Bluetooth Smart devices are only sensor devices and therefore are only be compatible with Smart Ready products. And theses Bluetooth Smart Ready devices will be compatible with classic Bluetooth devices such as hands-free car stereo sets.


Power consumption.. November 3, 2011

Filed under: Ideas for embedded robotics — nsua @ 12:02 am

We want to know if we will have sufficient time for our robot to finish it’s artwork/ design. In order to do this we must figure out how much we are consumming vs what we are providing the robot to run on. Since we are using  5 batteries (NiMH AA Batteries) we want to know the electric charge that will be available for us to play with. Batteries are usually measured in amp hours (A*h) and luckily for us we are given this value 2000mAh (this value is per battery). Now we look at our list of items and figure out which ones require power in order to run. Then based on the parts, we find the spec. sheets and see what current they require to be powered. Here is an example:

The blue section is that of our batteries (we’ve multiplied the quantity by the Amps and by the hours, in this case 1hr), the yellow are the items we’ve found that will consume. The total amp hours (4.56Ah, is the sum of all the yellow blocks) is then taken from our total available amp hours (in blue). From this we see that we can estimate our worst case scenario (shown in red) in which we assume everything is running, so if we get 4.56A in 1hr, we can see that we have enough Amps for 2hrs.


Hello world! …ideas for embedded robotics August 25, 2011

Filed under: Ideas for embedded robotics — nsua @ 8:09 pm

Choosing Bluetooth will be inexpensive and consume very little power. It doesn’t have the drawbacks of IR which uses “line of sight” to convey information and is a “one to one” technology.  Bluetooth has the capability to be both half-duplex communication (one direction at a time) or full-duplex communication (both directions simultaneaously).

For the project if we create “piconets” to connect the beacons to the mobots, once they’ve established individual connections they’ll frequency hope together to avoid interference from other systems. Sending a weak signal will limit the distance range of the bluetooth device (it can be adjusted to accomodate a greater range if needed. (1 milliwatt = 10meters aprox.) Bluetooth can connect up to 8 devices ( a chess set consists of 16 pieces: 1 king, 1 queen, 2 rooks, 2 bishops, 2 knights, 8 pawns) so perhaps each of the 4 beacons can account for 8 peices?