SBC Tank-Like Robot help?

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BrownDog
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SBC Tank-Like Robot help?

Postby BrownDog » Wed Sep 16, 2015 12:29 am

hey everyone

long story short - Ive been tasked by my boss to create a new robot for cleaning A/C ducting as our current one is rather, well to be honest it works fine but has a few annoyances such as too many cables [compressed air hose, controller cable and USB cable that has 4-5 amplifiers on it] and its too low and gets stuck on screws and other pointy things, and it was tasked to me as im quite knowledgeable in this area, not as knowledgeable as i wish though thats why im asking for help :D

Basically the robot has to be tank like, you know with the tracks and all that, have a camera on the front and back along with dimmable lights, be controlled by a laptop WITHOUT wireless technology [ducting interferes with it, tried it before] and not use a USB cable with amplifiers.

so far we've got a chassis for it, ive googled ma butt off and i think we're gonna go with a Phidgets SBC and a pair motor drivers

where im really stuck is writing the program to be able to drive the robot, dim the lights and be connected by an Ethernet cable [i chose ethernet cable purely for the bandwidth as some of these ducts can be as long as 200 meters and its less likley to loose too much data over the distance]

so if anyone can help me with the programming and suggest a few ideas, dont be like the last forum joined and just suggest changing everything and not even mention any kind of progamming

might also help to mention that im very good with computers and electronics, however im newish to coding [gave pawn scripting a go a few years ago when i discovered u could modify GTA: San Adreas

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burley
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Re: SBC Tank-Like Robot help?

Postby burley » Wed Sep 16, 2015 7:36 am

I think your best place to start is here:

http://www.phidgets.com/docs/Mobile_Robot_(MURVV)

That is our own implementation of a remote controlled robot using an SBC and our motor controllers. The full source code is available as well as some other useful information. If you have any questions let me know.
Brian Burley
403-282-7335 ext. 6003
support@phidgets.com

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Patrick
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Re: SBC Tank-Like Robot help?

Postby Patrick » Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:49 am

Also keep in mind that ethernet is only certified to 100m - you may have troubles at 200m.

Also, you have a cool job.

-Patrick

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Re: SBC Tank-Like Robot help?

Postby HiVolume.com » Wed Sep 16, 2015 7:12 pm

BrownDog wrote:hey everyone

long story short - Ive been tasked by my boss to create a new robot for cleaning A/C ducting as our current one is rather, well to be honest it works fine but has a few annoyances such as too many cables [compressed air hose, controller cable and USB cable that has 4-5 amplifiers on it] and its too low and gets stuck on screws and other pointy things, and it was tasked to me as im quite knowledgeable in this area, not as knowledgeable as i wish though thats why im asking for help :D

Basically the robot has to be tank like, you know with the tracks and all that, have a camera on the front and back along with dimmable lights, be controlled by a laptop WITHOUT wireless technology [ducting interferes with it, tried it before] and not use a USB cable with amplifiers.

so far we've got a chassis for it, ive googled ma butt off and i think we're gonna go with a Phidgets SBC and a pair motor drivers

where im really stuck is writing the program to be able to drive the robot, dim the lights and be connected by an Ethernet cable [i chose ethernet cable purely for the bandwidth as some of these ducts can be as long as 200 meters and its less likley to loose too much data over the distance]

so if anyone can help me with the programming and suggest a few ideas, dont be like the last forum joined and just suggest changing everything and not even mention any kind of programming

might also help to mention that im very good with computers and electronics, however im newish to coding [gave pawn scripting a go a few years ago when i discovered u could modify GTA: San Adreas


Sounds like a cool project. Where are you guys located? If you need help with the software development side of things, this is what my team does. We have used Phidgets extensively and have a bunch of their hardware in our lab. Email me (info@appwapp.com) if you want to discuss further and we can setup a Skype or something. There's several programming languages that can be used, but your project constraints would be my starting point.

BrownDog
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Re: SBC Tank-Like Robot help?

Postby BrownDog » Thu Sep 17, 2015 9:54 am

yeah my job is real sweet

bit of a revelation last night....

the current robot we use has a wired controller consisting of an Analog stick that u can press down as a button, a potentiometer for light dimming and a video screen.
The cable used is just 6 wires in heavy insulation and a screw in plug

now last night while packing up the robot i stopped and stared at the cable for a few mins and thought "i wonder if i can make the robot using this sort of cable" and so i dwelled on it for about and hour [by dwelled i mean i completely stopped what i was doing and just stared at the cable for an hour thinking] and i think i can do it

ive done some thinking and a bit of research and came up with this:

a cable with 8 inner cores wired up like this:

Wire 1: 12v+
Wire 2: 12v-
Wire 3: Video+
Wire 4: Video-
Wire 5: Camera Button to switch video feeds
Wire 6: Light dimming control
Wire 7: forward/back
Wire 8: Rotate left/right

some form of relay or junction box to switch between video feeds from cameras

and custom controller

then for the program i just have to script in the analog inputs for the joystick, the potentiometer for light control and the button to switch the camera

BrownDog
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Re: SBC Tank-Like Robot help?

Postby BrownDog » Thu Sep 17, 2015 9:55 am

HiVolume.com wrote:
BrownDog wrote:hey everyone

Sounds like a cool project. Where are you guys located? If you need help with the software development side of things, this is what my team does. We have used Phidgets extensively and have a bunch of their hardware in our lab. Email me (info@appwapp.com) if you want to discuss further and we can setup a Skype or something. There's several programming languages that can be used, but your project constraints would be my starting point.



might take you up on that sometime

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Re: SBC Tank-Like Robot help?

Postby HiVolume.com » Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:20 am

BrownDog wrote:yeah my job is real sweet

bit of a revelation last night....

the current robot we use has a wired controller consisting of an Analog stick that u can press down as a button, a potentiometer for light dimming and a video screen.
The cable used is just 6 wires in heavy insulation and a screw in plug

now last night while packing up the robot i stopped and stared at the cable for a few mins and thought "i wonder if i can make the robot using this sort of cable" and so i dwelled on it for about and hour [by dwelled i mean i completely stopped what i was doing and just stared at the cable for an hour thinking] and i think i can do it

ive done some thinking and a bit of research and came up with this:

a cable with 8 inner cores wired up like this:

Wire 1: 12v+
Wire 2: 12v-
Wire 3: Video+
Wire 4: Video-
Wire 5: Camera Button to switch video feeds
Wire 6: Light dimming control
Wire 7: forward/back
Wire 8: Rotate left/right

some form of relay or junction box to switch between video feeds from cameras

and custom controller

then for the program i just have to script in the analog inputs for the joystick, the potentiometer for light control and the button to switch the camera


In that case you wouldn't need an SBC onboard the robot. If you ever needed, you could use an onboard battery and re-purpose the power wires. The length of the cable will be a concern for the video signals, particularly if the shielding isn't that great. You might want to test that out first.

Keep us posted on your progress!


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