Brainbot - Navigation Chassis
So, I'm starting a new project at work - going to be doing some outdoor navigation research and development with Brainbot. The tracked chassis is not really suitable for that sort of thing, so we decided to mount the CPU/sensors on something a little more suitable for outdoor driving.
I went out and bought a 1/5 scale RC rock crawler chassis. Just for scale, those tires are 8" in diameter, and the whole thing is 30" long. We chose this chassis because it would have no issues going long distances at speed, and it would be able to handle curbs and grass and such with no issues. Being a rock crawler, it also goes slow enough that the sensors can keep up...
Right now, it has the quad core mini-itx mounted, and is being driven around with my Logitech wireless joystick. The motor driver (a Sabertooth 2x25) is controlled from one of my Bioloid I/O boards, which is connected to the bus. A program (written in Squeak Smalltalk) takes the joystick input, and sends speed and steering commands over the bus to the I/O board and the steering servos (AX-12's).
Here is a short video of it under remote control:
Next week I'll get the camera (Prosilica gigabit ethernet) mounted on a pan & tilt, mount the laser scanner, and I'll start writing a simple RoboMagellan-style navigation system. I'm also going to be picking up some stronger springs for the shocks, since we're a little on the heavy side for this chassis.
"The best way to predict the future is to invent it." - Alan Kay, inventor of Smalltalk