Solder Spot

A Hobbyist's Journal

Using OpenCV for Simple Object Detection

As part of the Blue Block Challenge I’m using the OpenCV library to detect and track objects based on their color only. In the process I created an Mac application to help develop the algorithms.

October 18, 2014 · Leave a comment

PARTS Challenge – Put Blue Block on Red Disc

While visiting the mini maker faire last month at OMSI, I discovered a local robotics club called PARTS (Portland Area Robotics Society) and managed to attend their most recent meeting … Continue reading

October 14, 2014 · Leave a comment

Moving Forward with NavBot

Now that the first version of NavBot is complete it is time to think about how to scale things up… and an 8 bit Atmel microcontroller is not the answer.

October 9, 2014 · Leave a comment

NavBot: Version 1

First true working version of the NavBot.

I show how you can get the code up and running on your own mobile robot, configure and calibrate it for errors and create your own waypoint based path sequences for the Pilot to execute.

May 23, 2014 · Leave a comment

NavBot: Calibration

[This is a breakout post for NavBot: Version 1 where I show how to get the NavBot project to run on your own robot.] In a previous post I detailed … Continue reading

May 23, 2014 · 1 Comment

NavBot: Tuning the PID Controllers

How to test and modify the PID coefficients for NavBot’s Pilot.

May 22, 2014 · 1 Comment

NavBot: Measuring and Correcting Systematic Errors with the UMBmark Test

Finally got a handle on dealing with NavBot’s key systematic errors. My ad hoc approach was proving very frustrating. The UMBmark method is simple to perform and gives great results.

May 8, 2014 · Leave a comment

Black is the New NavBot

Created a new bot better suited for dead reckoning navigation. And the results?

April 25, 2014 · 3 Comments

Wallie The NavBot

Using the Zumo bot for dead reckoning was proving difficult due to its tracks. Decided to see if the original WallBot with its smaller wheels could perform better at navigation.

March 16, 2014 · Leave a comment

Zumo: Systematic Errors Dead Ahead

During the development of the NavBot I was forced to deal with and understand the systematic errors (and non-systematic errors) of the Zumo chassis. Maybe I’m expecting too much from a tracked-based dead-reckoning bot.

March 7, 2014 · 4 Comments

NavBot: First Trial Run

Short video of the Pilot’s first movement tests.

It’s alive! Kind of….

March 1, 2014 · Leave a comment

NavBot: Pilot

An overview of how the NavBot Pilot component works. This is still a work-in-progress but taking on solid form. I plan to explain the internal workings once I have it mostly functioning.

February 27, 2014 · Leave a comment

NavBot: Navigator

An overview of the workings of NavBot’s Navigator component.

February 23, 2014 · 1 Comment

NavBot – Initial Software Design

Now that the WallBot has functioning wheel encoders I’m eager to evolve it from a simple wall-avoiding robot to one that can autonomously navigate its environment.

First I need to design how the software will work.

February 20, 2014 · Leave a comment

Quick and Dirty Dead Reckoning

Put together a quick and dirty dead reckoning experiment now that the encoders and PID controller are working. Very happy with the results, even if they are superficial.

February 15, 2014 · 2 Comments

PID Tuning For Zumo

With the encoders working it’s time to tune the PID controller for driving in straight lines.

February 13, 2014 · 2 Comments

Building Zumo – Encoder Redux and Bluetooth

Discovered there was an alternate and simpler solution than using Trinket.

Also received a bluetooth module and put it to use.

February 12, 2014 · 16 Comments

Building Zumo – Part IV

Finally completed the Zumo build, code and all. It was way more work than I bargained for.

Ended up adding a second microprocessor (The Trinket) to handle sensor and servo functions, implemented an I2C slave and wrangled new interrupt-driven servo code.

February 11, 2014 · 1 Comment

Building Zumo – Part III

Completed the Zumo hardware side and got the encoders working but then hit a road block trying to get the motors to turn…

February 7, 2014 · 3 Comments
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