# Title Team Members TA Documents Sponsor
17 Fast Low Cost Swarm Robots
Honorable Mention
Michael Bartmess
Paul Ernst
Peter Cork
Dongwei Shi design_review
The project is to create a fleet of low-cost robots capable of moving quickly in a coordinated fashion. Each robot will be relatively small, smaller than a human fist, and the area of movement would be roughly the size of a table. Our goal would be to build 16 of them. Since the cost of each robot is multiplied by the size of the fleet, making a design that allows the robots to coordinate without using too many sensors is highly beneficial.
Currently, swarm robots either are too slow or are too expensive. A prime example would be the Zooids project from Stanford, where the robots each use a high-quality IR sensor to decode their coordinates beamed from an expensive 3000Hz projector. This both limits the granularity of the positioning system and increases cost.

Our method for coordinating the robots would be to use a 1080p webcam mounted overhead and use machine vision to identify the robots locations and orientation. The vision system would then send the current locations, orientations, and destination locations to the robot over WiFi. From there, the robots would utilize the information to move towards the destination location. The vision system will likely run off of a laptop and use a router to send the information over WiFi.

Each robot would be equipped with an ESP8285 SoC which integrates a microcontroller with a WiFi chip, an antenna, motor controllers, two stepper motors for precise movement, and a battery with charging circuitry. The shell of the robot and PCB would both be designed by us. The robot would also feature some variety of a vision target on the top to assist the camera in identifying the robot and its location.

S.I.P. (Smart Irrigation Project)

Jackson Lenz, James McMahon

S.I.P. (Smart Irrigation Project)

Featured Project

Jackson Lenz

James McMahon

Our project is to be a reliable, robust, and intelligent irrigation controller for use in areas where reliable weather prediction, water supply, and power supply are not found.

Upon completion of the project, our device will be able to determine the moisture level of the soil, the water level in a water tank, and the temperature, humidity, insolation, and barometric pressure of the environment. It will perform some processing on the observed environmental factors to determine if rain can be expected soon, Comparing this knowledge to the dampness of the soil and the amount of water in reserves will either trigger a command to begin irrigation or maintain a command to not irrigate the fields. This device will allow farmers to make much more efficient use of precious water and also avoid dehydrating crops to death.

In developing nations, power is also of concern because it is not as readily available as power here in the United States. For that reason, our device will incorporate several amp-hours of energy storage in the form of rechargeable, maintenance-free, lead acid batteries. These batteries will charge while power is available from the grid and discharge when power is no longer available. This will allow for uninterrupted control of irrigation. When power is available from the grid, our device will be powered by the grid. At other times, the batteries will supply the required power.

The project is titled S.I.P. because it will reduce water wasted and will be very power efficient (by extremely conservative estimates, able to run for 70 hours without input from the grid), thus sipping on both power and water.

We welcome all questions and comments regarding our project in its current form.

Thank you all very much for you time and consideration!