Let's Make Robots!

HOUND Prototype- SUGV


I designed and built this vehicle as a senior project.

The vehicle is loosely based on the army MarcBot, one of the first sugv's, but with some upgrades specially in the sensors, GUI and control platform.

The main purpose of this vehicle was to prove that was possible to design, build and test a fully functional sugv under 3 months and with a extremely limited budged (under 1000€)

We achieved this by using comercially available platforms and a rapid prototyping development.

Since our main objective was not a full commercial product, we were lax on the robustness of the build, but the vehicle worked great during the field test.

The main components are:

  • Mechanical arm based on hobby servos
  • RC 4×4 crawler chassis
  • .net microframework compatible board
  • WiFi communications
  • Wireless camera
  • GPS
  • accelerometer
  • Gas sensor
  • Temperature sensor
  • Laptop base station

Some of the insteresting features are a safe mode that detects if the vehicle lost connection and tries to find his way home (without obstacule avoidance) and protects his arm by lowering it and entering lock down mode.

The GUI has a HUD type so the user can always keep the eyes on the road at all times.

Concept diagram

GUI screenshot

I will put more media during time and code, feel free to comment and ask questions. Check the link for additional information and the build log (still in the making)

 

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Hi, can you share more information on porting .NET Micro Framework in any ARM device? Izit possible to port in raspberry pi? or any arm dev recomended that we can built from scratch? 

GHI made an excellent begginers document about porting the .netmf to Arm controllers.

http://www.ghielectronics.com/downloads/FEZ/Beginners%20Guide%20to%20Porting%20NETMF.pdf

Haven't tried yet since we are now focused on a educational/comercial version of the Hound which will not be in .netmf at first.

Fez Panda II comes already with the preloaded .netmf and a couple of proprietary libraries from GHI that helps to interface with a lot of components like ethernet adapter, etc.

 

Thanks for the informartion. Will dig more into it this weekend and try on pi. Sound like RTOS or customize kernel to me but .netmf is not a OS i am curious ^^

Just went to find the instructions for raspbian for you.

If you've already attempted sudo apt-get install mono (or mono-complete) then you will need:sudo apt-get remove mono (or mono-complete) first. Otherwise you get conflicts and things end up worse than when they started.

If you do that then its a good idea to run sudo apt-get clean

 Anyway, in the pi shell or XTerm or whatever:
cd ~
wget https://www.dropbox.come/s/sask17flot3zqlg/mono_2_11_4_armv6hf_binary.tgz
cd /
sudo tar zxvf ~/mono_2_11_4_armv6hf_binary.tgz
sudo ldconfig 

you may also have to do: sudo apt-get libgdiplus
On my system it was already present (I assume it was orphaned when I uninstalled mono-complete). Its only needed for drawing forms though so if your just writing console applications you wont even need it.

 

Probably a good idea to reboot too.

Launch .net applications from the terminal with: mono [path to application]
If I have helloworld.exe in my home directory: mono ~/helloworld.exe

I think the .netmf is the default development environment for all the fez boards so it would have come preloaded. Otherwise, it probably isn't a 1 man job or the kind of thing where you can just ask someone vaguely for help and then be able to do it. If you want .net on the pi then that's already possible. On "soft float" systems then its just sudo apt-get install mono (or equivelant, mono is in most repositories so pacman install mono should work etc) Hard float systems its a little harder. The default raspbian OS is hard float. Sadly xamarin never released mono for ARMv6 hard float systems and its not just a case of simply recompiling. Sony released a patch but due to licensing issues the patched version isnt in any repositories. Annoyingly sudo apt-get install mono still works on hard float to install soft float mono but soft float mono on hard float OS's screws itself over constantly, its broken to the point of being unusable. OtherCrashOverride on the raspberry pi forums has released full instructions on how to download and install mono on hard float systems. Mono is essentially the full .net 4.0 not just .netmf.

Cool robot!   Neat you can reach up with the arm and see more.  

I write C# for a living but kind of discounted the .net mf for a micro controller since I am sure it uses lots of resources.  Also, kind of nice to have a hobby which doesn't feel like I am at work.  What a great senior project...

Regards,

 

Bill

 

Thank you.

You are right about the resources part, it has a big overhead for the libraries but the fact that it could be fully integrated in a solution in visual studio made this solution perfect for the time we had.

I also work full time as a C# developer, that was why I thought this would be the perfect tool for rapid prototyping.

Wow, does a panda 2 seriously use an ARM7TDMI? I figured it would use the cortex or something.

Anyway, very nice bot, I was hoping to one day build something similar. 

yes, Fez Panda II has a LPC2387 controller so its a ARM7TDMI, the big problem is the overhead from the .netmf framework. But it can do really interesting things. 

are you using micro soft robotic studio?