Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Status update

Long story short: things are going well, but we still have a lot to do.

This month we have completed our Fonera-based multi-hop wireless system and we did some tests on the wireless node battery packs obtaining a satisfactory 2.5 hours uptime. We got our hands on the IMU, the spotlights and the cameras, which we got working on Linux with our streaming software (still to be completed). We have had some problems with the main battery pack shipment but the new one will arrive before the end of the month.

Mechanical parts are arriving from manufacturers and we hope to begin assembly next week. Motors have been shipped two weeks ago and low level control boards are operational and accepting commands from ethernet. Right now we are working on some communication issues between the three different control levels, and we expect to solve them in little time.

In a few days we will be ready to begin porting the pattern generator code from the Matlab dynamics simulator to the middle-level control FPGA board. We should be able to perform our first full motor control test on Monday.

Altera kindly donated us three DE2-70 FPGA boards, on which we implemented both the low and middle level control.

We also have started porting the communication and image capture software on the onboard computer (based on a VIA EPIA fanless board). Moreover, Dell has very kindly offered to donate the teleoperation station laptop, we'll get in touch shortly.

Thanks to everyone for their hard work, in the next few days we'll post the detailed status of each subsystem.

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