Friday, October 14, 2011

Project. Done! Award Winning!

Sorry I made NO updates during construction. But the whole project is done. This took about 5+ months of FULL time work from the 3 of us, had no time for anything else. But the good thing is that it works and actually won an award at tech fair. We were up against 2 other teams with a total of 4 possible awards; we won "Elegance of Design"

If you don't feel like reading past blogs, this project is title:
Wireless Chemical Hazard and Surveillance Robot
It detects Carbon Monoxide, Hydrogen, Methane, and Propane with just 2 different sensors. The gas levels are wireless relayed to the base station to where the robot is controlled and displayed on the LCD. The operator also has control of a IR camera.

Final Video to come soon

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Little Update

So I haven't updated in a while since our progress has been long and strenuous, but no doubt progressing. We have not assembled the actual robot, but we are in the tail end of testing all our sensors, circuits, systems, and programming. Once we get everything working to our liking we will start mounting everything to our robot. We have our Propane sensor fully working and the other 2 will just be repetitive work (hopefully).

Shortly we will have to make a video demo which I will post here on the blog.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

So it's decided...

After talking it over with the team, we will be going full force with the Arduino boards. We already have one in from

Check it out:

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Arduino !?!?!?

Luckily we are still very early in our project that we can make drastic changes. Although we have already programmed our 2 Freescale micro-controllers to communicate wirelessly, we may look into switching to the ATmega328 micro-controller housed on the Arduino Duemilanove. The Freescale MCU may have more functions, pins, and faster speeds, but our project does not require a lot out of the MC to begin with. The Arduino has a large (largest?) following in small to large electronics projects with much support from fellow engineers and developers. After viewing the language (based on C++) that the Arduino uses, it seems very user friendly and very easy to learn. In contrast we were using straight forward C++ on the Freescale. There are many prebuilt libraries that we can use for the Arduino that we can make our programming a lot easier to do.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Finally! Pictures! (Big Update)

We started getting our items in and finally got to do some assembly (and disassembly) of our parts. We chose to use the lower half of a remote controlled tank, which 'was' a German Tiger. This will allow us for a large platform to house everything and gives us good maneuverability.

These 2 pictures shows the inside of the tank where we are most likely going to mount the on-board microcontroller (circuit board on right). Nothing is plugged into it and nothing is programmed yet, we just wanted to see how it would mount up:

These 2 pictures are the beginnings of our sensor modules. These will interface the gas sensors to our microcontroller. We use these to determine the levels that have been detected as well as determine how much gas we want it to detect to trigger the alarm:

Here is a shot of our sensors and Zigbee boards:

Programming one of our microcontrollers

Saturday, March 5, 2011

First batch of items

Just ordered out first batch of items for our project. Only cost us about $200 and will be (hopefully) only half of it. Hopefully meaning nothing breaks or needs replacement, but I wouldn't mind purchasing more parts for add-ons and enhancements.

Carbon Monoxide Sensor - MQ-7 x2
Methane CNG Gas Sensor - MQ-4 x2
LPG Gas Sensor - MQ-6 x2
Humidity and Temperature Sensor - DHT22 x1
XBee Pro 900 XSC RPSMA x2
900MHz Duck Antenna RP-SMA x2

We still need our chassis which will consist of the lower half/hull of a tank with the top taken off replaced by plexi glass. We also need our microcontroller, camera, alarms, leds, and little odds-n-ends.

Next blog updates will be of our first constructions and first lines of coding.

Monday, January 24, 2011

"Company" Name

Just another short blog entry before some down and dirty building of our actual robot.

One question I am asking my followers is: What is a good company name for a company that would produce products such as Hazard Detection systems marketed towards police and military?