Monday, April 29, 2013

The Road To Recovery

After sleepless nights of trying to get any kind of motor abilities from Alfred with the resources we had lying around, we've decided that spending the money on quality products might be a worth-while option. Although we are all too busy to continue on Alfred this semester, it will soon be decided if we will be order motor controllers, a new IOIO board, and/or make a custom PCB board for the solenoids. We currently have working face tracking and User Interface with the Samsung Galaxy tab, communicating with the Arduino Uno over bluetooth, and functionality with the drink dispensing system. So basically, it's a friendly vending machine. This last meeting we discussed plans for the summer and cleaned up a little. We are shooting for finishing early in the fall semester once we figure if we will be spending on the components previously mentioned. the final product is definitely on its way and surely won't fail to excite.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Catastrophe/Moving Forward (Progress Update)

So far we have got at robot that can mechanically function and has been wired to work with a micro controller. Unfortunately there was an accident and one of our main links (I/O I/O board) between the tablet and the robot itself was compromised. We still think we can make it work. Our plan is to have Alfred more or less stationary, but turn and track people. As Alfred turns towards them as they come closer, the robot will stop moving much and let the user approach (specifically not moving for safety concerns). After they approach Alfred they can order a drink and interface with Alfred (e.g. Alfred can speak to people). Thank you for understanding. 

The picture below is our bot 2 days before the Student Acceptance day or D-Day as has been renamed by Bharath (Left). I think the robot has made significant progress with a nearly functioning mechanical side and drink system that is only limited by a part we should receive soon. We will be work all night and all day tomorrow to get the rest of the systems implemented. Bharath is also holding the back panel which has the newly minted Open Source/Open Hardware symbol which he came up with. Kyle in the middle of the bot also spent all week with me (Jordan Yamada) finishing up the mechanical side which came together in whirlwind of effort. David (Right), has made and implemented his H-bridge which is working and going to get the robot moving. Also he finished the wiring to the solenoids which will allow us to electronically control the dispensing of drinks.

Now that the what's done is taken care of this is what we have to do now. Due to the accident we will use bluetooth from arduino to the tablet. We also have to implement a lot of sensors to effectively control and manage Alfred during dispensing mode.

Hopefully we will be finished just in time for Student Acceptance day, and add a little fun to ordering up some beverages.

Sunday, April 7, 2013


Today marks a great milestone for Alfred. Substantial work has been done the chassis and mechanical systems. Going from the CAD models as seen in Kyle's post earlier in the semester we've gone from bits and pieces, to a skeleton to a substantial robotics system, in spite of many set backs, lag time in parts coming in, and technical difficulties with workspace and tools. Alfred has made leaps and bounds.

Although this is true many deadlines have been missed and we need to start implementing systems and testings them to meet our ultimate goal of student acceptance day.