Week 18 - Spartan Superway Controls

This week, we presented our first presentation of the semester. In this presentation, we went over the current progress of the controls team and what we plan to do for the rest of the semester.

We started by detailing our new GUI interface created through Python. The user will be able to set their current position and destination in the GUI, which will then be sent to the podcars via the Xbee modules.

We also went over our current fabrication progress. The miniature prototype we finished last semester allowed us to create a working control system without the need to wait for a track or bogie. Near the end of the semester, we were able to take apart an older podcar and put the new components in it, allowing us to test everything to make sure the pods run the way we want them to. Once we have finished testing, we will purchase the rest of the components to complete all the podcars. We hope to have a working track by then to test multiple pods running at once.

Overall, this semester we w…

Week 17 - New concepts for the track

This week, we listened to a lecture from an architect about possible different designs that we could use for supporting the full-scale superway. The talk was very informative, but ultimately didn't contain any information that we would be able to use.

Moving forward with the week, we will focus on making more features possible with our GUI by changing the Arduino code to allow more inputs. By doing this, we will be able to allow the end user to have many different options when it comes to picking a pod, destination, speed, and path. We will also be making changes to the GUI to make it look more professional such as adding pictures and text packages.

Week 16 - Lightning Talks and Planning

This week, we presented our lightning talk as well as watched the other group's talks. This gave us much needed insight as to the overall progress and future of our projects. We then solidified our budget and we are now able to begin ordering parts. However, we will most likely wait a couple of weeks so that we are sure exactly what we need to order.

In the coming weeks, we will be finalizing our parts list and then ordering the parts. At the same time, we will be learning processing language and testing the viability of other languages. We will begin construction our controls systems in the next few weeks.

Week 15 - Semester two Kickoff

This week, we met with the rest of the senior project classes to check in and look at the schedule for the semester. After this, we went to the Superway room to further discuss each group's individual goals. Then we were told that our first lightning talk would be the following week.

This week, we will be getting ready for the first lightning talk and continuing research for our controls system. Our group will focus primarily on continuing to tweak our controls code as well as learn about user interfaces and how to create them.

Week 14 - Presentation and Final Documentation

This week, we presented for our third and final time for the Fall 2017 semester. We also created a bill of materials for the remaining 3 bogies that we will be constructing next semester.

Next week we will be working on the final documentation for the Fall section of our project. We need to look over the rubric and fill in the requirements using all the information and knowledge we have gained this semester. This will not only serve as a refresher for this semester, but give clearly defined goals that we can stick to for next semester.

Week 13 - Mounting Our Rapid Prototype

This week, we have mounted our rapid prototype to a backing plate. This plate contains an Arduino mega, breadboard, servo, and motor which we can use in our prototype commands code. Creating this solid prototype for our system allows us to transport the system without dismantling it every time.

Next week we will be getting ready for our third and final presentation for this semester. Today we watched many of the full-scale groups present. Most of the groups had a fairly finalized concept/model for their project.

Week 12 - Rapid Prototype is Up and Running

This week, we finally got Xbee communication open from a computer-stationed master Xbee and an Arduino-mounted slave Xbee. With this combination, we are able to send instructions to the Arduino, which can then use the instructions to locate and travel to the correct location. As of now, we have the Arduino, Xbee, motors, servo, and RFID reader connected with a breadboard.

In the upcoming week, we will be working to make a more solid rapid prototype model that we will be able to use for presentation.