This thread is for chronicling the development of my project: Modular Autonomous Robot Platform. This project is a continuation of my Master's thesis many years ago. At that time, I did not have access to devices like we have today at such a reasonable cost. In fact, I wound up designing my own motor and ultrasonic transducer dirvers that took the majority of my time. I am hopeful that with this project, my new approach will be more research and development yielding in knowledge sharing.
Today, I am back in town and opened my package containing the LeMker Guitar core and baseboard. I won't bore you with the details of the contents of the box. See some of the other threads that have already done a really good job of this, if you're interested. Let's just say I was pleasantly surprised. So, for my first entry, and for completion, let me start off by reposting my project entry:
1. Project Background :
The production of useful robotics devices such as as a roomba or automatic lawnmower relies on being able to take in many sensors as input devices and control various output devices, while at the same time make many computations to effect the desired result. One way to do this as efficiently as possible is to separate the duties of each type of task to different processing devices. For example, the reading of control and interpretation of ultrasonic signals is accomplished by one microcontroller while the sensing of the wheel rotation and control of the motors is done by another. Still, there is a need coordinate and communicate among these microcontrollers. That is the job of the supervisor module (controller). The supervisor module will need to be of sufficient power to perform the desired tasks (i.e. path planning, obstacle avoidance, error correction, object manipulation, etc.). The key to this success is a sound communication protocol that permits the supervisor module to properly gather data from input devices as well as reliably controlling the output devices. The aim of this project is to develop the supervisor module, a communication protocol, and the input and output devices needed for an experimental Modular Autonomous Robot Platform. The platform will be used to test various theories, and performs multiple experiments as new sensors and actuators are added. The information gathered will be used as a basis for the production of an intelligent, robust lawn mowing autonomous robot.
2. Project Content:
The supervisor module will be the heart of the platform. This module will be the LeMaker Guitar.
The first step will be to develop two modules: ultrasonic sensor and motor control. One Arduino microcontrollers will be used to read and control ultrasonic sensors. Another Arduino microcontroller will be used to control the motors on a robotic platform. The I2C communication protocol will be the hardware communication channel between the modules.
The second step will be to develop the microcontroller communication protocol on top of the I2C that will allow us to properly interpret the data as well as control the devices.
The third step is to design an algorithm to do something simple such as read an ultrasonic sensor to determine the distance from an object and move the robot toward the object.
3. Project Schedule :
Jan 15 - Feb 15:
- Become familiar with LeMaker Guitar
- Develop the ultrasonic and motor control modules
Feb 16 - Mar 15:
- Develop Ultrasonic module algorithms for its Arduino microcontroller
- Develop Motor Control algorithms for its Arduino microcontroller
- Develop communication protocol and test
Mar 16 - Apr 15:
- Develop Supervisor module algorithm for a simple task (To be better defined).
- Integrate algorithm into the robot and test.
Apr 15 - Project complete.
Stay posted for new entries as I make progess.