Introduction: Steve West

Read me first if you are new to OpenServo!

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Introduction: Steve West

Post by redwolf3 » Wed Jun 04, 2008 6:03 am

Howdy All-
I've been lurking on these forums on and off for a little bit, and figured the best way to get more involved is to start by introducing myself.

My name is Steve West. I'm a software engineer and robotics enthusiast. My background in electronics comes from past coursework in EE as well as a general geekish enjoyment of anything electronic.

I currently have one major project I am working towards, but work has been slow. I am currently working on a larger scale, combat walking robot. By combat, I don't mean Robo-One, but rather the larger competitions (Ala Battlebots). I am still in the design phase overall. Currently, I am working on a small scale concept of my large scale design.

After lurking on here, I am particularly interested in getting I2C talking between multiple servos as well as sensors. My current semi-rough requirements are calling for up to 50 servo controls as well as up to 100 sensors (including feedback from the 50 servos). These requirements aren't necessary right now, but my goal for combatting the large number of devices is to hopefully run 2 separate I2C setups; One for Standalone Sensors and one for Servos.

One big part of the final project will be building some large scale servos. As of right now, I am trying to build a servo control board which can control something like a Dewalt Cordless Drill motor (18v, 60A, etc). I've been thinking of building a basic H-Bridge speed control based on an Open Source Motor Control (OSMC) project, but reducing the number of FETs from 4 to 1 or 2, but we'll see what comes of that.

Ultimately, my loves are writing code and making things work, so I hope to be able to help others with their projects if possible, and to learn something new along the way.

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Post by ginge » Wed Jun 04, 2008 2:30 pm

Hi Steve,

Welcome to the project! What you are doing sounds very interesting, and I wish you well. I am sure we would love to see videos, sketches or just about anything about the build.
My current semi-rough requirements are calling for up to 50 servo controls as well as up to 100 sensors (including feedback from the 50 servos).
Sounds like you need a lot of feedback! I would recommend running through some I2C speed tests before you commit anything to the final design. In my biped, I found that I needed at least 2 I2C master devices, to control all of the servos syncronously.

Unless your sensor handling code is tolerant of long delays between sensor data aquisition, I would also recommend running some tests :)

It sounds like you have a lot of experience you could bring to the project.
I look forward to chatting with you some more about this giant biped.


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Post by redwolf3 » Thu Jun 05, 2008 5:14 am

Thanks for the welcome.

For sketches, I actually have several, but sadly I haven't had a chance to find my Solidworks Install Disk, so I'm not able to capture any specific skethces, etc. I will probably scan in some of my hand sketches in a bit (this has been a long term project for me, haha).

On the I2C side, testing is definitely going to be a big part of it. As I say, my primary goal will be to make a scale version of what I hope will be the final version. This will be used to test out the code and basic control hardware, which I hope will allow me to work out the details.

My current design plans include several levels of control. Current plans include the use of one (or more) gumstix Linux systems for the high level control. I plan to have this level doing all the hardcore calculations, etc. I then plan to have the control and sensor busses which will most likely be multi-level, giving certain appendages their own dedicated interpreter controllers, etc.

One thing I really hope to provide is the ability to program devices on the fly to send high priority notices to their master controllers. My thinking is that you could, say, tell a servo to send an urgent notice to its master if it is locked and can't move to a requested position, or possibly a critical value from a sensor.

One of these days I have to fully write out all my thoughts just so I have a place to store them as they pop into my head, haha.

Now I've just got to get myself more involved in Software Development on this project.

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