Project

# Title Team Members TA Documents Sponsor
63 Educational Development Board for RoboThink
Anthony Shvets
Zhe Tang
Zipeng Wang design_review
proposal
Project Members are:
Anthony Shvets : shvets2
Zhe Tang: zhetang2

The purpose and focus of this project will be to develop a control board for a flexible robotics building system. The system as a whole would allow young students to easily create their own robotic designs outfitted with servo motors, DC motors, and Sensors while also being easily programmable using color (where unique colors would result in unique actions).

An example I would like to bring up is of a student that builds a robot with DC motors controlling the wheels for movement, a servo motor for a claw at the front of the robot and a few color sensors to detect a drawn path and spots near the path to issue an action. This robot would start traveling straight and its color sensor detects the color blue (let’s say this means turn left) and the robot turns left roughly 90 degrees. Then it continues until the sensor detects orange (let’s say this means close servo) and the robot grips an object in front of it, turns around and then continues traveling until it detects another actionable color or a stop condition, which could be a unique color or combination of colors across multiple color sensors.

The benefit this provides young kids is to work with programmable robots from a very early age, due to the easy to understand color based coding system, and also be able adapt those robots to different shapes and functions.

Again, the focus of the project will be around the control board. Not the development of the plastics and motors used in the robots as those are already developed. The control board will be able to control DC motors, Servo motors, and will take input from at least 4 color sensors (2 for path detection and ~2 for action detection).

Prosthetic Control Board

Caleb Albers, Daniel Lee

Prosthetic Control Board

Featured Project

Psyonic is a local start-up that has been working on a prosthetic arm with an impressive set of features as well as being affordable. The current iteration of the main hand board is functional, but has limitations in computational power as well as scalability. In lieu of this, Psyonic wishes to switch to a production-ready chip that is an improvement on the current micro controller by utilizing a more modern architecture. During this change a few new features would be added that would improve safety, allow for easier debugging, and fix some issues present in the current implementation. The board is also slated to communicate with several other boards found in the hand. Additionally we are looking at the possibility of improving the longevity of the product with methods such as conformal coating and potting.

Core Functionality:

Replace microcontroller, change connectors, and code software to send control signals to the motor drivers

Tier 1 functions:

Add additional communication interfaces (I2C), and add temperature sensor.

Tier 2 functions:

Setup framework for communication between other boards, and improve board longevity.

Overview of proposed changes by affected area:

Microcontroller/Architecture Change:

Teensy -> Production-ready chip (most likely ARM based, i.e. STM32 family of processors)

Board:

support new microcontroller, adding additional communication interfaces (I2C), change to more robust connector. (will need to design pcb for both main control as well as finger sensors)

Sensor:

Addition of a temperature sensor to provide temperature feedback to the microcontroller.

Software:

change from Arduino IDE to new toolchain. (ARM has various base libraries such as mbed and can be configured for use with eclipse to act as IDE) Lay out framework to allow communication from other boards found in other parts of the arm.