Ed Nutter (@EdNutter)
Forcing a servo to rotate when off can damage it.
Malfunction:Servo makes a grinding noise or acts erratic
Examine gears for broken teeth
In order for your system to control devices, you must be able to connect it to those devices.
Besides different sizes based on wire size, there are a few different styles of connectors that can be used. There are also weather-resistant terminals that can be used if needed.
- used for circuits that you don’t want to become easily disconnected
- ground wire attached to a stud
- can be used on relay terminals
- could be...
- Follow safety precautions.
- Always think “what if”.
- Analytical procedures
- Precautions when probing equipment
- Insulate all but last 1/8” of probe tip
- Learn from mistakes
- Don’t start with electronic test equipment, start with analytical thinking.
- If you get stuck, sleep on it.
- Many problems have simple solutions.
- Whenever possible, try to substitute a working unit.
- Don’t blindly trust test instruments.
- Coincidences do happen, but are relatively...
If you are unable to find a circuit board mount in the size you need, there is an alternative. You could make them from tubing, like steel brake line, with a bolt in the middle. You could use plastic tubing with a bolt.Using a solid rod is also an option.
If you opt to use some type of rod, there are some things to keep in mind. Drill rod is very tough, but could be hard to thread smaller bolts. Mild steel rod isn’t quite as tough, but it easier to thread. ...
In today's world of constantly changing technology, quick parts availability, and seemingly endless options, some things can't change. It isn't a big deal to wait a day or less for a computer upgrade to arrive. It seems program size increases proportionally to hard drive size. The old is discarded and replaced with the new. Hard drives can hold terrabytes and even SD cards can hold gigabytes of information.
Now, suppose a system can't be changed. It is still...
The Intel 8088 is an 8 bit processor related to the 16 bit 8086.
The Microcomputer class consisted of wire-wrapping the chips to perfboard using sockets.I had taken computers apart, soldered, etc., but had never used wire-wrapping to construct a computer board to that point.Most people carried the board to class. A few people stared when I opened the plywood box with breadboard area, and plugged the full-sized power supply in. The lid is wide enough to hold the 11x17 paper the...
Since most vehicles won't float and land gently from more than a few inches, some type of stand is needed to keep the vehicle stationary as work is being done. It can also prevent crashes and broken things, which becomes more important as the vehicle becomes larger and heavier.
For now, most of my work is done with 1/10 scale or smaller vehicles, so I made a stand from leftover wood. Full-size vehicles may require a hydraulic lift and jack stands.
Smaller vehicles can be held by...
Unmanned Ground Vehicles - Design considerations for man-portable/packable vehicles
A UGV is “a ground based mechanical device that can sense and interact with its environment.” (Carlson, How)
A Field Robot is expected to work outdoors, though generally not in rain or snow, including rough terrain, dirt and dust. (Carlson, Reliability)
A Man-portable robot weighs less than 40 pounds, or is capable of being broken down into subassemblies for two soldiers weighing less than 40...
It's that time of year when the white stuff falls from the sky across the US, and with it comes lower temperatures. These conditions must be taken into consideration when designing a vehicle for outdoor use.
A few definitions from wikipedia:
Flurry: light, brief snowfall
Snow shower: intermittent snowfall
Light snow: over 1km visibility
Moderate snow: 0.5 to 1km visibility
Heavy snow: less than 0.5km visibility
Blizzard: lasts 3 hours or longer, sustained wind to 35mph, visibility...
There are many things to take into consideration when choosing a microcontroller or microprocessor for your autonomous vehicle.
Some processors run on 5V and others use 3.3V. Be sure to check the documentation before you buy. Make sure your supply has a high enough amp rating that your microcontroller doesn't lose pwer.
Can the system run using batteries? Large, automotive sized vehicles can be run from large batteries or inverters in the vehicle. Smaller...
There are a few things to take into consideration when choosing a vehicle or chassis for your autonomous vehicle. You can design and build your own, buy a stripped robot chassis, or use a radio controlled (RC) vehicle as a starting point. I usually use an RC vehicle as a starting point.
Two basic styles of RC vehicles exist. The first, is the toy-grade vehicle. It can be found in most retail stores, and usually costs below 50 dollars. Its main advantage is the low price, which can be as low...
From the time technology that we have come to know was invented, it has been used to gain an advantage militarily or to make life easier. Military usage seems to be a driving factor, but it is not the only factor.
Guerilla tactics played an even greater part in the US conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan. Using lessons learned fighting the Soviets in the 1980s and training from US backed anti-Soviet forces, the guerilla tactics did increasing damage to US military forces. Insurgents...
The following are a few basic sensors that can be used to help an autonomous vehicle navigate its environment.
The faster the vehicle is traveling, the faster the sensor must be processed.
Moving vehicles could knock something over or cause damage to a person or object if it collides with them.
Drop-off and line sensors function better when mounted to the front of the vehicle.
Drop-off and collision sensors should be mounted front and rear, if your vehicle can back up.
When designing an autonomous or remotely-controlled vehicle, there are a few factors to take into consideration. Three of these are purpose, environment, and terrain.
What is the purpose of the vehicle?
Will it be used in an industrial setting with people moving around it that it must not run over?
Will it be used in a hazardous environment, like Fukushima or Chernobyl, where it would be exposed to high levels of radiation and must be cleaned or left behind? If it must be left behind, any...
While there are many types of steering mechanisms, for now, I will be concentrating on two of them.
The first is known as Ackerman-type steering. On a rear-wheel-drive four-wheeled car, the rear wheels push the vehicle while the two front wheels pivot left and right, either by using a servo or a geared motor, to steer the vehicle. Understeer is when the vehicle tries to push through the turn too wide, possibly causing the vehicle to drive off the outside of the course. ...
In its most basic form, a Line Following Vehicle (LFV) consists of a line sensor, a vehicle, some way to process the signal, and batteries.
A basic line can consist of black 3/4" electrical tape on a white background. Other lines consist of a white line on a black background. While usually solid, a line can consist of dashes and even change between colors. Turns are generally sweeping and gradual, but can include angles. Each of these changes adds a layer of difficulty to the...
While having a breadboard with your microcontroller is necessary, it is very cumbersome if the two aren't fastened together somehow. You can buy mounting plates, but I choose to make one.
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