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InsectBot - History

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InsectBot History


The below is a development history of the InsectBot, which Luke Cole has primarily developed on a part-time basis.

August 2008 - December 2008

3D Centring (Mapped flow on sphere) Teleoperation using Falcon Haptics Joystick 2D Docking at 67 degree angle

Performed research experiments, see the research page for more information. Demo'ed research experiments at ANU Open Day 2008 and ACRA 2008.

May 2008 - July 2008

Wrote an API for programmers wishing to use the robot. The API allows one to simply control the robot motors, lift-platform and receive images over the network (wired/wireless). Wrote some test software to acquire video seqences, odometry information with ground truths.

March 2008 - April 2008

The past months have been very enjoying as the InsectBot is now driving around under closed-loop control. The lift platform software is complete and is currently being mounted.

September 2007 - February 2008

Unfortunately, another few more slow months, mostly due to Luke Cole's external commitments and the need for an extended holiday. However the correct lift platform motor amplifier has arrived and working as required. The new omni-directional wheel were found to be slipping on the couplings to the motor axles, however some masterbond soon fixed that. Also the control code for the Smart Cars USB2.0 PWM/encoder was found to be very poor (no error checking what so ever) and over designed (it was orginally for the Smart Car and designed as a C++ class, which only adds complexitly for the needs of the InsectBot and makes developing a closed-loop controller somewhat harder). The control code has since been all re-written in C and only contains the components required for the InsectBot. The end is now in sight with only the following to do:

  • Model the open-loop response of the new motors/gearboxes. Then design a closed-loop controller.
  • Finish the lift plaftorm serial driver.
  • Touch-ups: example mounting cameras and finishing overall high-level code for users of the InsectBot.

May 2007 - August 2007

Unfortunately, another few more slow months, mostly due to Luke Cole not being able to provide much time on the project and also spent some time continuing some researching on a novel Hough Transform algorithm.

Mostly completed Lift platform Linux serial driver and high-level control/drive software. However had the following set backs:

  • Smart Cars USB2.0 PWM/encoder needed some repairs (due to apply the providing the wrong power source, and the circuit has no over load protection).
  • Lift platform motor amplifier was found to be incorrect and required replacement.

January 2007 - April 2007

InsectBot Photo - Version 3.0 (October 2006 to April 2007) InsectBot Photo - Version 3.0 (October 2006 to April 2007)

New motors, gear boxes and mechanical design arrived. Assembled new mechanical design and mounted/wired motors, motor controllers, Mini-ITX computer, batteries, 24V-to-12V DC-DC converter, lift platform controller. Built Smart Cars USB2.0 PWM/encoder board and tested. Currently working on closed-loop controller for the drive mechanism and lift platform serial driver software. NOTE: The SICK Laser scanner in photo is only there to show the robot can now support such a powerful senor.

October 2006 - December 2007

No real progress, as Luke Cole was researching a novel Hough Transform algorithm and other team members were busy with their research and conferences.

July 2006 - September 2006

InsectBot Photo - Version 2.0 (July 2006 to September 2006) InsectBot model - Version 3.0

Drive mechanism redesigned to meet previous month testing: gear boxes added, some mechanical mounting methods changed. New Maxon motors, encoders and gearboxes for the new design arrive early October 2006. New mechanical design should arrive January 2007.

Burpbot History

Before the design of the InsectBot, there was the Burpbot, which was founded and lead by Dr. David Austin and Dr. Nick Barnes. It was developmented under the "Ubiquitous Robot Project Proposal".

More information about the Burpbot (e.g. history) can be found here.