Friday, January 30, 2015

Magellan Update

For 2015 the platform is using the following hardware:
  • Winbook 701  (Intel Baytrail tablet running windows 8.1)
  • Logitech 902 Camera 
  • Neo 6M GPS
  • Razor 9 IMU
  • 6 HCS-04 Sonar Sensors
  • 70cm Telemetry System
  • Hall Effect Quadrature encoders
  • Dual Front Bump Switch and Start Button
Major hardware changes for the year include replacing the odroid U2 that we used for AVC with the winbook.  The odroid would not allow us to run the vision software which is windows based.  The winbook has had the following issues:
  • Power management issues:  The charging circuit doesn't seem to keep up with power demands during heavy use.   The winbook uses more power then the odroid and needs to be on shore power when on running. 
  • Remote desktop.  Since the winbook can only run windows 8.1 home, there is not remote desktop functionality.  A wrapper was written to emulate all remote desktop functionality under a different process so that windows can't kill it. 
  • VNC is also used to mirror the winbook when preparing for a run.  This is slow due to the nature of NVC.
  • There are challenges with device drivers with windows 8.1 especially with prolific usb->ttl drivers.  In addition the FTDI driver renders devices unusable on any platform requiring the use a linux program call ft232r to reset the PID on the device. 
Additional challenges:
  • The usb hub is having problems with devices connecting and disconnecting.

January 29, 2015 Update

Author: Andrew Thai


Tommy and Trent had gotten one of the coffee makers to work, which may be temporary to today.

First, the servo that Tony installed was secured with a 4-40 screw because the original servo servo was lost and Jason continued research in getting the maps to work with what seemed to be success with downloading a map. Afterward, Jason and Andrew Moved outside and set up the platform for testing. Jason had to go to class, and Ariel had arrived. Ariel created a new course file (testCourseEasy 1-29-2015.txt) which seemed to be more accurate on his iPhone. Both worked on compass calibration with changing the compass.csv file, the file called in the IMUModule, again using Ariel's iPhone. Tommy showed up early from class, and helped run the robot. The behavior of the robot was odd, stopping until nudged forward, where it would then run full speed for a second and going in odd directions. Ariel and Robot, who were monitoring the outputs, saw that we kept losing  serial data. Tommy advised that we may want to try to use the second USB hub that Professor Mason offered for use. The second run, we had decided to use tightVNC to be able to see the prints. We had noticed that the platform will fall into a pattern where it will briefly load GPS latitude and longitude, stop loading and moving anything for a couple seconds, then spam avoid prints (unsure which side). Magellan will proceed to run in a circle or an unknown direction, and repeat the process. Tommy and Andrew suspect that it is either the encoder code or the object avoid code not working and now have Robert, guided by Tommy, is writing a go forward test code (which comes with a 10ftest.txt file) based on the code. Ariel and Andrew quickly reviewed and adjusted the attributes for the servos in before the day ended.

-Robot is not running course correctly, speculated to be due to object avoidance or encoder errors 
-Have Not Actively Used Telemetry for debugging purposes
-IDLE screen text hard to see while robot is running

New To-Do
-Telemetry: Actively Test Telemetry
-Test Encoders
  If Not Problem, Test Object Avoidance
-Adjust Rear Servo Horn
-Change IDLE text of shell during runs
-Replace USB Hub

Previous To-Do's
-Get/Change Roll Cage
-Replace Sonar Mounts (or replace when they break)
-Angle Mount for Tablet (to save room and easier use)