(A robot by Barry Dufour)
This is the robot I built using
a MAX99 platform. ROVER is an outdoor robot and is designed to explore my yard as well as
my neighbors yards. This little guy has a radio range of about 500 feet. ROVER is
operated by a laptop computer (an old P120) and is driven by the numeric keyboard. The
radio link to ROVER is RS232 at 9600 baud. There is a video display with audio to drive
the vehicle with. The entire electronics module connects to the platform with a single
stereo phone plug and battery connection.
ROVER has a cold cathode lamp for a driving light and a horn to ward off cats and
dogs. In addition to this, the platform constantly sends back microcontroller status and
compass headings. A hardware watchdog will stop the motors if it goes out of range or
coherent data is lost between the platform and the laptop computer. The system temperature
and the main battery voltage can be read at any time also.
is no decision making software onboard ROVER.
All intelligence comes from the laptop computer
including the microcontroller bootup and configuration.
The path ROVER takes may be recorded to disk
and played back to recreate the flight.
The software allows manual takeover when off
course to correct or the computer will do the
correction for me. The ROVER software is written
in National Instruments LabVIEW.
Here is a picture of ROVER II
Here is a picture of the laptop
Here is the main control panel. The
compass also displays the direction in text when the system is operating.
Here is the playback menu. The compasses display
the direction in text as well when the system is operating. When playback is stopped, full
manual control is available.
Well, thats it for ROVER II for now. I
will be adding more features as the need arises
since I have a full telemetry link back to the
laptop. I still have 15 data bits left and 7
A/D channels. I also have onboard PWM and timer
functions available. For now, ROVER has too much
exploring to do, no time to worry about extra
and theres that
cat I have to follow, he