Keeping an eye it with an object tracking .Net Gadgeteer robot

Description

Today's Hardware Friday brings a new face to the blog, someone I've not highlighted before, but someone I believe we'll see more of in the future. Today's project is

.Net Gadgeteer Powered Object Tracking Robot

This is a .Net Gadgeteer powered robot based on the rover 5 platform, and using an ir compound eye for object tracking.

It's the first robot i've ever build and also my first real project with the Gadgeteer platform.

I started off with some code based on the arduino sample code for Mr General from the dagu code sample site which i converted into c#. I then refactored it to make it more object oriented and tweaked stuff to make it work better with the .Net Gadgeteer platform

Details and example code can be found on my blog ...

.Net Gadgeteer Powered Object Tracking Robot

This is my first real project using the awesome .Net gadgeteer platform. My initial aim for this project was to build a Gadgeteer version of the robot shown in this video.

The robot can track objects at short (around 20-30cm) distances and will try to stay a set distance away from the object it is tracking.

For tracking the robot uses an ir compound eye, which is a sensor that gives an analog output depending on the level of reflected infrared light.

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This is a video of the working prototype of my gadgeteer powered version. (apologies for the crappy quality, i'll get a better version uploaded soon)

This is the first of a series of posts detailing how i went about building it and the stupid expensive mistakes i made along the way.

Parts and materials

The base of the robot is a Rover 5 chassis, made by Dagu electronics.

I had a couple of different options for the motor controller. GHI electronics make a Gadgeteer motor driver module, which i could have used and would probably have worked perfectly well.

However i chose the Dagu explorer pcb as it was designed to fit the chassis i was using and has lots of other nice features such as infrared corner tracking and multiple power sources.

Future posts will detail how i went about putting it together.

As you can see above, Rik dives into the project breaking it into manageable and understandable pieces. He's also using this project as a basis for others, like...

.Net Gadgeteer Robot with PS Vita as controller

This post is about a modification of my .Net Gadgeteer object tracking robot.

The aim of the project was to add a robotic arm to the robot and allow control over wifi using my Playstation Vita.

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I had picked up a Playstation Vita a few months back and was really excited when I heard about the Playstation Mobile Developer Program because it would allow me to write code for the vita in c#

After building my object tracking robot, i thought it would be an interesting challenge to try and control it using the vita.

The robot uses the same Rover 5 chassis and explorer pcb motor controller as the original robot.

Here's a couple of videos of him in action.

The parts i used to build this robot were as follows.

  • Fez Spider Mainboard
  • 2 Gadgeteer Extender Modules
  • Gadgeteer Ethernet Module
  • Gadgeteer Client DP Module
  • Dagu 2dof Robotic Arm
  • Dagu Rover 5 Chassis
  • Dagu Explorer PCB
  • Edimax Portable Router

I'm using a Playstation Vita as the controller for this robot, however you could really use any wifi capable device that you can write a socket client for.

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Where's the code? Most of his posts include all the code required, including this one...

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Code, parts, concepts and ideas. All there waiting for you to use and extend in your own projects...

The Discussion

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