Category

Development Updates

S.A.R.T Development Blog

22
Feb

Day 186 – Plans for Autonomy and ROS

Hello! I am Barney, I’ll be taking over autonomy for the next two years for S.A.R.T. This post isn’t actually about the progress of autonomy, but rather my plans for it. The main goal for the Mk 4, is to be able to follow the left wall throughout the course. Though this will be inefficient...
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02
Jan

Day 185 – Partner Helps S.A.R.T. Shake off the Shackles of Slow Sites

When we graduated St Francis Xavier College in 2017, we didn’t think we’d be back here writing a blog so soon. The great wheel that is the S.A.R.T. keeps turning, churning out iteratively better robots every few months. But one element of the project has been stuck in the past since we first built it...
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08
Nov

Day 184 – Stopping Servos

An issue we’ve commonly faced while operating our robot is that the servos will keep spinning if the script crashes or if we exit the script via CTRL+C. I’ve always had the stop_servos.py script for this exact purpose but it has to be executed manually after exiting the main script, i.e. python3 stop_servos.py. This script...
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04
Nov

Day 183 – Autonomy In Motion

Now that we have a rather nice PID controller, it’s time to test it! Enjoy responsibly Using just a PID controller alone, we can implement rudimentary autonomy. It’s only basic, but it’s a start and it’s the first time our robot has ever completed a course unaided. Another video, showcasing it from a different angle...
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02
Nov

Day 182 – Centering with a PID Controller

On our way to autonomy, one of the things we need to have is the ability for the robot to center itself left and right in the course as it moves forward. First, I’ll explain what a PID controller is and how we will use it on our robot. PID stands for Proportional-Integral-Derivative controller. It’s...
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01
Nov

Day 181 – Catching Shiny Hubs

In light of the recent drop test debacle, we’ve decided on a new infill pattern for the wheel hub. The infill that we used for the drop test was a small square pattern that stays unchanged throughout the print. Evidently, this wasn’t strong enough to handle the stress of the weight of the robot and...
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23
Oct

Day 180 – Drop Test!

The S.A.R.T. performed a drop test! We were pretty sure our robot would survive, but we’d never done a proper test before. We figured, now that we have our robot together again, why not give it a shot? Watch the video… in glorious 4K Overall, it was a success. The robot survived. The board and...
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19
Oct

Day 179 – Semi-Autonomous At Last!

Here at S.A.R.T., we are immeasurably proud to anounce our robot is, at long last, semi-autonomous. You can watch the robot in action and in glorious 4K below: Obviously this is extremely basic (literally all the logic in about five lines of code), but it’s the most autonomous our robot’s ever been (except the times...
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27
Sep

Day 178 – Servo Servicing II

As I talked about in a previous post, half of our servos weren’t working. Of course, I was going to try to fix them before we spend anymore money on new ones, so that’s what I did today. Some of them were broken for certain, they either didn’t show up at all when connected or...
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29
Aug

Day 177 – Custom USB Board

One of our other major issues in Canada were the USB ports. Due to the small size of our robot, we needed to have right angle USB port extensions. These would plug into the robot and allow us to plug in the USB2AX device and cameras. The USB thing we had used. So we needed...
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