He may not look like much right now, but STEVE is an evolving project I’ve been wanting to start for quite some time. He is a robot, into which I will combine software, hardware, and mechanical design.
Currently STEVE is an AVR microcontroller and LM298 dual motor driver, strapped to a circa 1985 remote control car. Over the last few days, I began laying the foundation with serial communication, motor control, and power. In the next few weeks, I should receive the first order of parts to give STEVE senses.
- Ultrasonic range sensor
- 9-Degrees-of-freedom Intertial Measurement Unit (with compass)
- DS18B20 Temperature Sensor
- USB WiFi Adapter
- LM298 Motor Driver (a better unit)
- Servo (to pivot ultrasonic range sensor)
- Current Sensing
This is a great wish list, but without the software to tie it all together, not very useful. Therefore, I’m assigning my Raspberry Pi 2 B+ as STEVE’s brain. My vision is for the Pi to do all the heavy processing such as navigating, making decisions, and hosting the user interface for mission planning. That way, the AVR is only a hardware controller that manages Input/Output, and communicates bi-directionally with the Pi.
Over the last week the project has evolved very rapidly, and a new body is in the works. My 3D printer has some serious overtime coming up, as I begin designing and printing STEVE’s mechanical components. The ability to print new wheels, mounts, gears and body components is critical to the success of this project, and will also mean I can be very flexible with how everything is implemented.
I have a lot of freedom to do really cool things with this, and I look forward to posting regular updates on STEVE’s progress here!