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Project Updates: Rover

by Tucker Stone

The Mars Rover team spent the majority of the Fall 2015 semester working on our proposal to gain admission into the NASA Robo-Ops competition. The combined effort of our team, although admirable, ultimately was not enough to be one of the selected teams to gain entry in to the 2016 competition.

Although our ultimate goal of being entered into next year’s competition was not achieved, the team continued to work hard towards the advancement of the rover’s technical capabilities. The programming team built new code to support the robotic arm, as well as integrating the independent six-wheel drive motors.

While the programming team continued to advance the rover’s capability from a coding aspect, the mechanical team continues to struggle modifying the rover’s current design into a working system. Largely a result of the design completed in previous semesters, the team has had to spend considerable amounts of time modifying and redesigning systems that in design seem feasible but in reality do not operate as intended.

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An Exciting New Feature for the Club

An Exciting New Feature for the Club

The Robotics Club is proud to announce an exciting new feature in the IRL Lab (Intelligent Robotics Learning Laboratory). We often are so engrossed in our projects that we forget to take a step back to photograph or record what we are doing. It would be perfect if there was a way to automatically record our work so that we can share with others the progress of our projects and the processes required to make our robots come to life. We needed some sort of camera to capture all the detail, and our club obtained one HD security camera from 123 Security Cameras.

While testing our IP 2 Megapixel Dome Camera, we found it ideal for our purposes because its high-definition imagery can help us properly identify faces. The quality of video produced by the camera will also result in great footage of the cool things we do here that we can share with those on campus and around the world!

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IP 2 Megapixel Dome Camera

After testing our first camera and learning more about the technology it was only a matter of hours that we realized how useful these IP cameras can be for us. Having even more resolution than 1080P would be beneficial as we have small tools and parts that sometimes find a way to walk away. Sometimes we find that our tools have been misused, which can result in permanent damage. Of course this damage is not intentional, but we find it difficult to make responsible persons aware of proper procedures. So we did our research and found these IP cameras up to 5 megapixels from CCTV Camera World that we will be using to help maintain our equipment. 5 Megapixel cameras are able to provide even higher resolution video that affords the ability to zoom in and recognize small detail better than 1080p cameras. Now we can help ensure that our equipment and tools remain useful for years to come. In addition, it will help us track down tools that have been borrowed, but forgotten to be returned.

We also discovered that these security cameras were also great for uses other than security. They have built-in web servers that can provide video over a RTSP stream which can be injected in to virtually any application. We plan to use one of the cameras with Open Broadcaster Software for live streaming our club meetings and work nights.

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Introduction to Micro-contollers

Click here to view the slides used during the tutorial.

Software & Codes needed for this tutorial

Helpful Links (we will be adding more)

Also, if you are interested in learning more about the low-level aspect of micro-controllers, WSU offers a course, EE 234 Microprocessor Systems, taught by Andy O’Fallon.

Click here to view pics during the tutorial.

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Ice Cream Social!

Ice Cream Social is an opportunity for the different student groups under Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture to promote and recruit new members. Students gets to enjoy free ice cream courtesy of the college, and each club offers their own ice cream toppings.

The main purpose of the event is to provide students a one-stop destination where they can meet the different clubs in the college. It is also a great time to socialize and network with your college professors outside your classroom.

During the event, the Robotics Club continuous to attract more students from different engineering majors. Such diversity is something that makes our club stand out. The collaboration from different student majors will greatly help us when we start planning for new projects as each major brings a unique perspective.

We thank everyone who came and had shown interest to the club and we hope to see everyone during our first club meeting next week.

Click here for more pics.

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First Club Meeting

We are inviting everyone to join us!

Robotics Club Meeting
September 4th, Thursday
5:30pm to 7:00pm
Dana Hall 3, Intelligent Robot Learning Laboratory

This will be a good opportunity to meet the old and new members of the club. We will go through the details of what projects we’ve done last year, projects we want to work on this year and if anyone wants to pitch in new projects, this is also a great time to do so. We will add more details later.

We are very excited for this year and we hope to see everyone.

Join us in our Facebook event page.

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Robotics Club joins the All Campus Picnic

The Robotics Club joined the All Campus Picnic during the Washington State University's Week of Welcome. The club took the opportunity to promote and recruit incoming freshmen and transfer students to join the club. The event was a great success as we were able to reach out not just to students, but as well as to university staff, parents, and kids. Also, we were able to network outside the university with an invitation to demo for the cub scouts and a class in a local grade school.

Click here for more pics.