Yup, lots of wires. New body, too. With my 3D printer back in service, cases were printed for the electronics, along with new wheels all around. These new wheels add around an inch of ground clearance, and better off-road traction.
As well, the first shipment of new parts has arrived: a USB WiFi adapter, an ultrasonic range sensor, H-Bridge motor controller, 9-DOF IMU and a temperature probe.
There are a lot of really cool developments in this post; let’s dive in.
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!