Today we continued work from yesterday and completed the foam board electronics unit. This contains all the electronics that go in to a Bowie robot. They are on a foam core board to make it an easier test platform, and something we can quickly test with instead of opening up a robot. After this was finished, we proceeded to run some test code. The tests did not work because the Xbees were not communicating. None of the LEDs for the Xbee were lighting up on the brain board. To debug if this was a hardware issue, we could not see the port when plugging them in to an adapter board into the computer. A workaround was to install the FTDI driver, restart computer, then run XCTU. We did finally see that the Xbees exchanged a NI (node identifier) packet. Voltage on the brain board was checked on the Xbee and it seemed fine. Further debugging will be necessary, further tweaking of the code will be necessary. This was never encountered before, and with the electronics been left out in the open, we cannot rule out ESD damage for sure. Aside from this it appears all dc motors, servos, and super bright LEDs are functional.
For University of Ottawa’s Engineering Design course GNG5140, as a client we were paired with a group to work on something for Robot Missions. Today we had our first informational meeting — Meet the team!
Here is some info about it from the Winter 2020 client package:
GNG5140 is an open ended, hands-on engineering design course that provides students with fundamentals and advanced concepts of the engineering design process from client empathy to prototyping and testing. Students work directly with clients to solve a real societal need. There is a strong component of teamwork and lifelong learning.
Students taking this course are most likely in MEng (Master’s of Engineering). The students work in teams of 4-6 and are from all engineering departments.
At the end of the semester the students should have produced a final prototype with a user manual. The final prototypes from the successful groups will be available to the client to test with, keep for use, etc. The other prototypes will be disassembled to recycle parts from them.
We’ll be meeting about 4 times over the course of the semester, a total time commitment of about 10 hours. It all culminates in Design Day, where the students will then exhibit their work!
We’ve collaborated with engineering design classes in the past, and it was a blast. No doubt that this one will also be fun too. Can’t wait to see what the team will make, and will post updates about it here.