31 December 2010

Robot LDD and NXT ROS



So, I started working on a robot for my behavior based studies, and what I've come up with is something that will also (hopefully) let me incorporate my NXTCam v3. Here is what it looks like in LDD:

I couldn't quite get the effectors on because the axle is at the wrong angle, but you can tell where they go. And the wire is left there for the NXTCam.

The under-actuated mechanism is to pick up black objects on the floor, I hope, using the NXTCam to track the object. I didn't build the holder for those objects, but I know that won't be too hard.

I also forgot to mention in my last post about the new NXT ROS I found. Only fully supported on Ubuntu, the NXT ROS is the same sort of ROS they use for industrial robots. Except here, it can do it all on the NXT. I made the LDD because you can also transfer LDD files to the ROS 3-D software and virtualize it, so the robot actually moves with the commands on the computer. Neat, huh?

Unfortunately, my laptop with Ubuntu on it is only 9.04 and can't actually handle the 10.04 upgrade. And for some reason, my laptop cannot locate the brick. They say there is an issue with my configuration files, but I just can't figure it out. That will be my main hangup for now, until I get time to build my actual model.


28 December 2010

Its been a very long time ...

Hoo-ee its been a long time since I updated this blog. I'll try and be more dedicated to updates here. I just get so enraptured by the other interesting stuff other bloggers put up that I don't update my own blog. But no more of that.

Anyway, some interesting things have happened with my life and robotics. Our robotics club at school decided to join FTC (FIRST Tech Challenge) which is for highschoolers who can't be as dedicated to do FRC. And my team, the Red HoloRAMS (don't ask about the name) did very well in the past couple of tournaments. We took 2nd in a November 22 tournament, and 1st in a December 19 tournament. We are now in the state championships, ranked at 12th. We even got the front page article in our local newspaper. Here is the link: http://www.tricityvoice.com/displayPages.php?issue=2010-12-24&page=1 (our team is in red, and our robot is the one with the bright yellow lego pieces). The whole event has been a total confidence booster in my understanding of robotics, and how far I can take myself if I apply myself to robotics. My understanding of team management; hardware, electrical, and software behind robotics; and programming skills in RobotC have jumped a huge bunch thanks to this event.

I have become interested in a couple of other blogs too.
Paul's works, at http://sariel.pl/ has tons of stuff that can be applied to Lego Mindstorms NXT stuff, and his creations are also very applicable to real life. The fact that all of them are motorized makes his creations more appealing too.
Thom has sparked an interest in me about behavior based robotics. His blog, http://roachnet.wordpress.com/ is full of resources from which I think I can get started from. I'm thinking of working on a project soon in this field, thanks to his blog.

All I can say now is that a lot has happened, and I hope to keep updating this blog.