Blog Archives

Using a Kalman filter on a single analog channel

Things have been slow here at YardBot HQ recently. Not only do I work full time as a mobile software developer, but part time I work for a mechanical engineering company (same building and owners) that will be releasing a

Posted in Software Tagged with: , , , ,

Organizing with IKEA furniture

I moved recently and haven’t had much time to work on YardBot, and part of the problem is that there is no easy place to have my motherboards, power supplies and motors. I had the idea to grab an IKEA

Posted in Hardware Tagged with: , ,

Building Arduino firmware with CMake and catkin

As projects get more complex, the tools you use start to become somewhat unwieldy, and they are no longer as effective as before. YardBot runs with 2 Arduinos, and currently my process for updating their firmware requires starting an Ubuntu

Posted in Software Tagged with: , , , ,

Closed loop PID control of a DC motor

After getting the DC motor to work nicely with my PS3 joystick, I continued by building in a control system using the PID algorithm. A feedback based control system is very important for advanced robotics, as it makes sure that

Posted in Software Tagged with: , ,

Finding the performance limit of an Arduino MEGA

As I think up more and more things to do with YardBot, I’ve started to reach the limits of what a normal Arduino MEGA can handle. With an 8 MHz clock speed and 2KB of RAM available, Arduinos have never

Posted in Testing Tagged with: , , ,

Designing a movable snowplow

The original purpose of YardBot, beyond career education, was to have something that will either plow the driveway for me or allow me to do it with a simple remote control. With much of the robot chassis in a stable

Posted in Design Tagged with: , ,

Open loop DC motor control with a PS3 controller

The next stage of my robot project is to make software talk to hardware. Previously I mentioned how I translate PS3 controller data into something useful for a robot. Before getting into complex real-world control, I wanted to check that

Posted in How to Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Writing a custom joystick teleop node for ROS

I’m learning a lot about ROS with every component I add to YardBot but one of the things I haven’t done yet, and will be required to do lots of, is make a custom C++ node for controlling systems. The

Posted in Software Tagged with: , , ,

Prototyping part of the electronic system with Arduino

When I started this project I knew I couldn’t attack it all at once. This was for reasons of time, money and tool access so I have to pick away at it whenever I can. Currently that means working on

Posted in Design Tagged with: , , , , ,

Planning the robot’s systems

A robot, or any other engineering project, requires a careful round of planning and design. In fact, the design stage takes the most time, percentage wise, and the more details that are worked out early on, the easier and smoother

Posted in Design Tagged with: , , ,