07.21.07

It works!

Posted in General at 8:10 pm by Tessa

Building the motor drivers

Posted in Hardware at 8:06 pm by Tessa

We went to an electronics shop and collected a whole bunch of resistors, diodes, wires and off course enough IC’s to drive three motors. We constructed the motor drivers on the PCB as small as possible because we always have to consider the weight that our blimp can lift, and we did not take this piece of electronics into account when we measured and weighed the on board electronics. First we made it possible to drive one motor, because we wanted to test our construction and it worked! So we have good faith that we can drive three motors before this day ends! Meanwhile a lot of work has also been done in the software domain. Zeppy’s brain can already detect faces, see motion and determine optical flow. We can not wait to couple the software to our hardware platform and see what Zeppy does!

Home built motor drivers:

Home built motor drivers

Motor driver connected to the Gumstix, battery and motor:

Connected

07.09.07

Way small computing.

Posted in Hardware at 12:22 pm by Tessa

Today, our Gumstix arrived. This is a very very small computer which weighs only 9 grams. We are going to use it on board to drive the motors and maybe later even to do all the processing and make Zeppy really autonomous! Our first challenge with the Gumstix was to activate the Bluetooth, so that we could access our small computer. Some wires had to be soldered to the little machine, which was very exciting, fortunately the third time they were on the right pins! Now that we could access the Gumstix, we could try to drive some motors with them, but unfortunately it was impossible to do this directly with the Gumstix, which we had expected. The outputs could not provide our motors with enough power, therefore we have to insert motor drivers into the circuit.

Gumstix:

Gumstix

Soldering a motor:

Soldering a motor