RPi + Arduino + Python = Robot!


7 posts
by Wisar » Sat Nov 03, 2012 7:02 am
When I heard about the Raspberry PI I knew that I had to have one. I had no idea what for....but I know I needed one badly! My CS education featured a lot of work on early Unix machines and the fridge size boxes we used were probably less powerful than the credit card sized RPI. I was also an early adopter of a variety of personal computers including an Altair, a Radio Shack TRS-80, a variety of z80 and 8080 based machines, and the list goes on from the antiques to my current iMac 27.

So, I had to have one. What to do with it? I already have the iMac, a Mac Mini, a laptop, a iPad, an Android Pad, and an iPhone so I am not short of electronics. I also have several media players so gen'ing up the RPI as a media player didn't sound exciting.

Then the Mars Rover landed and I had my idea! I have always been interested in the interface between a computer and physical devices so this was interesting. In addition I could do the development in Python learning another language on my route back to my past.

Here is the chronicle of my effort thus far: http://raspberrypirobot.blogspot.co.uk/

Image
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by wallarug » Sat Nov 03, 2012 11:29 pm
I am doing a similar project.

Do you need any code?
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by Wisar » Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:26 am
Wallarug:

I am at a point in my project where I have developed the code that runs the 'bot and all of it's systems in a remote control mode but have yet to decide what it is going to do in the next phase which is to be autonomous. I would like it to be able to develop a map of a room but am having trouble deciding how to accurately, or reasonably accurately, fix a location (obviously GPS will not work).

Any ideas along that line would be appreciated! What is your 'bot going to be when it grows up?

Will
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by davidb24v » Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:45 pm
Awesome project Wisar!

I'm also trying to do something similar - namely to have a bot that will autonomously map out it's surroundings and roam to wherever it can.

Have got mine more or less built (there's a post around somewhere - here). There's a link to the academic paper I stumbled across which set me off along this path - implication is that this should all be doable with an ultrasonic sensor. Was just about to sit down and think about writing some python code to rotate the robot and get my first "scan". I'm going to take a look at what you've been doing first though - might save me some time.

Am working on a proper writeup (got some hosting organised yesterday and will be putting that together over the next week or so). My code (Arduino side only so far) is here on github.

Dave

ps. Some of the papers by Johann Borenstein are well worth a read.
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by Wisar » Sun Nov 04, 2012 2:39 pm
Dave:

Thanks for the link to that mapping paper...just downloaded it to my iPad to try and see if any of it makes any sense.

Our projects look remarkably similar me thinks...though you are MUCH more ambitious on the hardware side. I used the Rover 5 and Explorer PCB as they did most of the hardware work for me...and even then I am challenged!

Still it has been a great learning experience in regards to the physical side of computing.

Good luck!
Will
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by wallarug » Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:23 am
Wisar wrote:Wallarug:

I am at a point in my project where I have developed the code that runs the 'bot and all of it's systems in a remote control mode but have yet to decide what it is going to do in the next phase which is to be autonomous. I would like it to be able to develop a map of a room but am having trouble deciding how to accurately, or reasonably accurately, fix a location (obviously GPS will not work).

Any ideas along that line would be appreciated! What is your 'bot going to be when it grows up?

Will

I haven't quite decided on what it will eventually be, but I have achieved this just now:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rO3DVX1a87w&feature=g-upl

Hopefully it will evolve into something more advanced.
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by Wisar » Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:48 am
Cool! I like that "I am not sure what it is going to be" comment! You are much more ambitious than am I in regards to the electronics and mechanicals. I went with the pre packaged approach and was still challenged with some of the integration (and I can not tell my wife how much the 'bot has cost me)! Sometime in the next couple of days I will post a video but here are the latest pictures for what is getting close to an end state from a hardware perspective (if only because I am running out of room on the platform).

http://raspberrypirobot.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/latest-robot-pictures.html
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