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.

Week 11 - Focusing on Xbee communication

This week, all of our Xbee modules came in so we are trying to get them to communicate. First we opened communication between two master Xbee modules connected directly to a computer. Then we tried to communicate between Xbee and Arduino. We were unable to pass legible messages between the two, however, we were able to send basic signals. This showed us that the messages were being sent and received, but that there were some settings that needed to be changed. Next week, we will be working to get Xbee to send legible messages to the Arduino and trying to schedule a meeting with our new Computer Engineering partner.

Week 10 - Beginning Our Rapid Prototyping

This week's meeting consisted of a quick recap of where we're all supposed to be in terms of our progress, and free time for all subgroups to work on their projects.

Many of our components that we ordered arrived, therefore we were able to begin setting up our rapid prototype. We were able to test all the RFID tags and note their unique ID's, begin setting up our breadboard with our components (start/terminate buttons, servo, RFID reader, etc.), work on soldering the pins for our motor driver, and attaching an encoder to our new DC motors that came in.

Week 9 - Presentation 2 Viewing

In this week's meeting (10/25/17), we spent the entire meeting watching the Full and Half scale's second presentations. In the end of the meeting we had about 15-25 minutes to meet with our subgroups.

Our controls subgroup met on Monday and we researched and agreed on what parts we need/want for our project so that we may add it to out Bill of Materials. Therefore, in this brief time we had, we all came to an agreement for Coby to order the parts and they were ordered the same day, after class.

Once we get the parts in, we can begin our Rapid Prototyping, which consists of a breadboard mock-up of all of our components so that we can demonstrate the functionality of our code.

Week 8 - Presentation 2 and Swift Nav. Meeting

In this week’s meeting, all the sub-groups of the Small-scale team were able to communicate their progress and future plans to the rest of the Spartan Superway team via Presentation 2. We were the first to present and thereafter we sat back and enjoyed being briefed on the rest of the teams’ progress. Our Presentation 2 is provided below, with more detail about each slide within each 'Speaker Notes' section, respectively.
Before we began presenting, Dr. Furman informed us that there is a group in the ME 106 class whose project involves GPS work and that a few representatives of Swift Navigation will be coming to discuss the specifics of their technology with them (The Piksi Multi, found here).  We, the controls team, were told that we could sit in on the meeting if we chose to do so because the idea of GPS for position sensing has been thrown around for Small-scale, as well as for Full-scale. The meeting was geared more towards the 106 team and questions they had on the Piks…

Week 7 - Spartan Superway Controls Team

For this week, we began looking further into the Xbee communication and understanding how the server contacts the bogie. We were able to decode the 8-digit packet that is sent to the Xbee module, but are still figuring out why the packet is not being sent to the Arduino. AJ suggested that we look into the different nodes that the packet has to go through in order to receive it (app > server > xbee > arduino), so we will try to take the code apart and see where the problem is happening. 
With this information, we can start preparing our second presentation and our initial designs for the controls.

Week 6 - Small Scale Controls

This week the team has been focused on getting the Xbee module to communicate to an Arduino. Because we have the RFID figured out, understanding the Xbee is the last thing that needs to be accomplished in order to write a fully functional navigation code. To do this, we have contacted the previous team in an attempt to solve the problems we are having. They gave us some tips to get us started on the Xbee troubleshooting and we will be scheduling a meeting in the near future if we are unable to get the module to work.

In addition, we are working to get narrow down the components that we would like to use as well as learning how to use them effectively.