If you've read the previous post I wrote, it's been almost a month since I last posted about this project. But I have good news! We're now firmly off the ground on research!
This week marked the point at which we now have a known working functional base robot that we can use to continue the research! Over the last few weeks, we have struggled to get an accurate assessment of all the existing hardware and whether there is anything that needs to be replaced. However, we finally have a working vehicle that is capable of drive by wire!
You'll notice in the videos that there is always someone managing a cable of some kind. That's just an umbilical cord we have to power the electronics bay. Typically, the vehicle would have a generator running in the cargo bay to power the electronics bay. However, we recently ran into problems getting the generator to run so for these tests, we were relying on building power to keep the electronics bay running.
You'll also notice that the driving is a little jerky and that's because we're all still new to the concept of driving a vehicle by wire. Turns out, when you close the loops on velocity control in an FPGA and only expose the desired speed parameter, controlling that parameter using the trigger control on an XBOX controller is not the easiest way to control a vehicle! So we'll be updating that control scheme so that you use the upper trigger buttons instead of the lower trigger button to control speed. This way, the left and right buttons could be used to increment or decrement the desired speed, kind of like how one would change the speed of a car when it is in cruise control.
That's it! More in another post to come about sensor characterization!
Gator Research Blog
Welcome to the Gator Research Blog for the Fall 2015 semester! The aim of this research will be to develop the software to allow a John Deere Gator to navigate a mini-baja-type course autonomously. Follow our progress here!