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Blog page on fischertechnik robotics and embedded systems.

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All pictures and videos: copyright Huub van Niekerk

2018
16 February (Playlist)

Arduino Mega2560: In an attempt to get a motor running on the Uno, I replace the XM motor. Will this finally work? And how? Then for testing the SPI string, the serial monitor is back to 1 only. Searching for a solution, I find a replacement. Does this have the same effect on the signals? Click the image to watch the video.
 
Hand: Focus is on figuring out the responses of the sensors: why are some gears interrupted? Will changing the algorithm bring a solution? Click the image to watch the video.

RaspberryPi: Going further on I2C, I find that the example algorithm has some flaws. In my attempt to correct them, I find catch myself mixing up things a bit. In the end, the algorihtm works, but does the hardware? What about signals on the oscilloscope? What about wiring? Click the image to watch the video.

Mirft2: Trying to walk again, but it starts with an oops and ends with an oops. Why does it "prance"? Why does it stop? How do the feet go? Click the image to watch the video.

Mydfir: Testing sonar and line following gives some weird as well as interesting data. Why happens what? Out of curiosity, I enable colours and find some oddities. What's happening here? Click the image to watch the video.

Arduino Yún: Back to recording data using Linux and getting them into Octave. After testing the hardware and examining the output, some error remains but the solution is clear. Click the image to watch the video.

Discovery: So 2 images taken, at the beginning and at the end. Too much code? Too slow CPU? Too much speed? Some testing and observing the output feeds a decision with a remarkable result. Click the image to watch the video.

Arduino MegaADK: So how about the motor with chain? After testing the electronic control, I find I need to replace part of it. Some more testing leads to another replacement with a result that leaves some questions. Click the image to watch the video.

RaspberryPi2 & ROS: Trying to get it working again and testing it all. What works? What doesn't and why? Some debugging and trying delivers some renewal of experience but also questions. Click the image to watch the video.

BeagleBoard & monorail: Trying the tracks, I have to make sure they're really parallel. So some modification and reconstruction. Then testing: something very odd with a sensor. How come? Also, halting at a strange place. Why? Click the image to watch the video.


9 February (Playlist)

Mega2560: First focus: the motor attached to the Uno. How can it be solved? Other motor? Other value? Other port? Then: SPI. The strings seem to have gone, but why? Also it turns out I have 2 serial monitors, which makes checking out easier. Close observation with the monitor reveals not only about SPDR but also about signals on the oscilloscope in certain circumstances. Click the image to watch the video.

Hand: Testing the yaw of the hand again with close observation. It becomes clear that a motor is unhinged, but after that: what's wrong? Timing? Cord? Tension? Using the hand as test case it becomes clear that there's more to it. Click the image to watch the video.

RaspberryPi: Returning to the ADC with LDR for a moment to check its values. Does it work? Then a new subject: I2C. What does it need? How does it work? How do I program it? Click the image to watch the video.

Mydfir: Trying out sonar, it first goes on linefollowing. Then: 2 objects and reaction of the robot leads to thinking about timing. Also, the collected data shows some oddities. Are the distances really accurate? Some doubts are justified. Click the image to watch the video.

Arduino Yún: Again: data. Can I get it into a table for Octave? Can I delete the data file? Some surprises on the way to a solution. What works? What won't? Click the image to watch the video.

Discovery: Testing sensors, sonar, timing and OpenCV on the floor. As an extra, I put the camera image live on the controller display. What are the results? What should be changed? Reviewing images reveals a necessity to change the algorithm. But will this work out? Click the image to watch the video.

Arduino MegaADK: Why doesn't a motor work? Checking wiring and code. Swapping, from analog to digital and back...what are the results? Then a lamp..wiring or voltage? Back to the motor: voltage or pwm? Click the image to watch the video.

RaspberryPi2 & ROS: After last time, I'm curious why the build of the new packages goes wrong. But something else goes wrong before I can check. What's up? Why? History repeating, it seems. Click the image to watch the video.

BeagleBoard & monorail: First, the focus is on the rails/tracks. They seem a bit off. Then, would adding some weight to the carriage help? Some speed change is observed, but will it keep up? Click the image to watch the video.


2 February (Playlist)

Arduino Mega2560: First focussing on the motor: why doesn't it work? Pwm value? Wiring? Swapping wires? Then SPI. After a discussion, I decide to change the algorithm a bit and change a byte. The result is somewhat surprising, but not consistent. And showing another problem as well: info is garbled. Click the image to watch the video.

Hand: Trying to get the yaw working, I find some oddities in the construction. Observation brings more problems to the surface and questions about the software. Although improved, more has to be done. Click the image to watch the video.

RaspberryPi: Testing the ADC with the potmeter as analog source requires a modification and a tool. The result is somewhat surprising. Then another surprise on an LDR. What's up? Click the image to watch the video.

Mirft2: First testing on the oscilloscope, then on the floor. What's wrong with the object? What's wrong with the motors? ROBOPro is there to test and find out that things aren't that easy. Click the image to watch the video.

Arduino Yún: First testing, then: how does the data behave? Is the logfile correct this time? Changing the way the data is written should be different, how does that work out? Octave shows a message that may give a problem with the logfile. Click the image to watch the video.

Arduino MegaADK: Time to get the motor with chain working. To get this done, it helps when the wiring is complete and when the code is correct. Does the motor work? In all circumstances? Click the image to watch the video.

RaspberryPi2 & ROS: Testing and creating a new package. How will this go? Using the tutorial, it should go smooth, but mistakes happen easily. Let's try anyway. Click the image to watch the video.

BeagleBoard & monorail: After advise to tighten to wire connections, I try again. Will this help? The oscilloscope show the familiar signals. Does the new track give improvements? Then 2 oopses and 1  reconstruction to come. Click the image to watch the video.


26 January (Playlist)

Arduino Mega2560: Starting with the Uno and SPI, the number from SPDR is stranger by the time. Then: why does the motor not respond? Some wiring tricks reveal a very odd situation. But how to solve it? Click the image to watch the video.

Hand: With the yaw still not working nice, I find the first test going wrong on the wrist. This needs a modification. After that, some odd findings. But why? Timing? Construction? Wiring? Click the image to watch the video.

RaspberryPi: Testing the ADC which still seems to go well. So how can I extend the setup when I don't have any more sensors? First, clean up the board, then place the components. Also: adjust the program and testing the new situation does bring a suprise. How come? Finally, updating gEDA. Click the image to watch the video.

Mirft2: It starts with a wrong screen, somewhere followed by a power off. Sigh. Then back to sensors. with oscilloscope. In finally find that ROBOPro is correct all the way, so where's the 0-1-2 counting gone? Finally, back on the floor. Something has to change. Click the image to watch the video.

Mydfir: Trying sonar again: what goes wrong? Why? The data shows not all, so I change the algorithm a bit...but still inconclusive. In the end, a surprise...but can it be repeated? Click the image to watch the video.

Arduino Yún: Testing shows some electronics is wrong and a fix is needed. Next: why does some of the written data not appear in the logfile? Finally: can I import the logfile into Octave? Click the image to watch the video.

Discovery: Testing sensors and no change in behaviour, it's time for a change: testing on the floor and of course with a larger distance. What can be concluded, if anything? Click the image to watch the video.

Arduino MegaADK: No Android anymore. But how can I differentiate from Mega2560 when the USB host is unusable? First: check the photo-transistor with the oscilloscope. Then: add a motor, electronics and some code? What goes wrong? Click the image to watch the video.

RaspberryPi2 & ROS: Focus is again on messaging. Why doesn't it work the way I want? Last series of attempts before (maybe) starting over. Click the image to watch the video.

BeagleBoard & monorail: The long awaited reconstruction of the track is finally there. After it, some more tests..with which results? Click the image to watch the video.


19 January (Playlist)

Arduino Mega2560: SPI again: I know where it goes wrong. But why? Testing a small algorithm change, I can confirm it works in another place. So what's up? Then: why does the Uno motor not work? Speed? Wiring? Click the image to watch the video.

Hand: Again the yaw of the hand: after changes for the wiring, it shows that a reinforcement is needed..whcih needs a reconstruction. Does it work? Also: to make the lower-gear sensors work, a relocation of the counter-weight is a solution. How? And does it work? Click the image to watch the video.

RaspberryPi: Using the ADC, testing 1 LDR and expanding with more components, among which fischertechnik. This gives a surprising result. Changing the code to work with more than 2, gives a problem first but when it's solved gives some more insight. The oscilloscope shows some signals, but how to differentiate? Click the image to watch the video.

Mirft2: Testing sensors again, but starting with an oops. After a check, further tests which leads to a change in counting. Which is which? Using ROBOPro is become clear that the algorithm has a flaw. And still sensor 2 is missing?! Click the image to watch the video.

Mydfir: The focus is this time on sonar, but something is not quite right. After a power-cycle, it works slightly better, but why? A little algorithm change, will that help? Several tests later and comparing data...what's the verdict? Click the image to watch the video.

Arduino Yún: With almost everything working, it's time for something new. Choice is a fischertechnik phototransistor, but how to connect it? There's an input available, but how about output? It also requires wiring and some code. Will everything work? Click the image to watch the video.

Discovery: Testing sensors because of confusion gives some unexpected results. ROBOPro points out that some wires are different than thought, so all good? Some screenoutput points to a replacement, but what's the result? Then a big oops, but how come? How is it solved? Click the image to watch the video.

Arduino MegaADK & Android: Testing the Arduino and Android, I check the last timing result with for-loops. What's the result? Then I check details on the connection and find an oops. On with the Arduino: I need some rewiring and I find an oops in the code for the lamp. Click the image to watch the video.

RaspberryPi2 & ROS: Into messages again: will throwing away help? Will replacing help? Will adding help? Will "catkin_make install" help? What does the tutorial say again? Click the image to watch the video.

BeagleBoard & monorail: Testing the speed with the modified carriage brings new questions. Is more modification needed? How? What's the height of the track? What's stopping it? What makes it run? Connection issues...and how to solve them. Click the image to watch the video.


12 January (Playlist)

Arduino Mega2560: Testing SPI again: where does it go wrong at the Uno-side? Slowly a mystery comes to surface, but why does it happen at all? Also, at some other point it does go well..but how come? Click the image to watch the video.

Hand: While trying to improve the yaw cord, I realize that a major reconstruction is needed. But how will this end up? Does the software need change? Click the image to watch the video.

RaspberryPi: Trying the ADC again by rewiring to the original schema and code with a surprising result. Which becomes visible on the oscilloscope after a change of the timebase. Then: how does everything else work? Searching the net gives a clue, but will it work here as well? Click the image to watch the video.

Mirft2: After the new authorization, what happens? Testing with the images gives an unpleasant surprise with the date. What's with the battery? Then with the oscilloscope shows some weirdness on the pwm. What's up? Sensor testing brings confusion. Click the image to watch the video.

Mydfir: Line following again: why is the righthand side not ok? Why is sonar acting strange? Searching for clues in data shows oddities. Is the code ok? Click the image to watch the video.

Arduino Yún: Testing the circuit, then code: why is only 1 value recorded? Some testing reveals 2 problems and a quick solution. Then it's time to replace a potmeter without the need to rewire, but it takes some soldering. Will everything work? Click the image to watch the video.

Discovery: Checking the motors with the oscilloscope reveals that 1 motor has no signal: a problem which is quickly solved. Next: authorization, then: how do the sensors behave? ROBOPro shows all work, so with 1 sensor reporting, what's up? Click the image to watch the video.

Arduino MegaADK & Android: First, testing everything and thinking of improvements. Then: how to increase the delay on the Android? Which value to exceed 1 second? Next: the Arduino... constructing a lamp, rewiring and recoding. Does it work? Click the image to watch the video.

RaspberryPi2 & ROS: Testing shows the current situation works, kind of. Trying several ideas on the messages, what will work? Then some electronics oops. In the end, an idea for next time. Click the image to watch the video.

BeagleBoard & monorail: New rails haven't arrived yet. Testing reveals the balance is off. So first task is to solve this. Then: again some wiring. Time to really solve it. Also: if pressure solves the speed, then adding some weight may help. But how? Click the image to watch the video.


5 January 2018 (Playlist)

Arduino Mega2560: Testing the motor at the Uno side: does it still work? SPI signal on the oscilloscope: what's up? Testing the switch for SPI: what should the result be? Some algorithm change needed. Click the image to watch the video.

Hand: With the new winch, a wire needs to be put in place. Then some testing on the gears, the wrist, the algorithm. What about tension? Direction? Switches? Click the image to watch the video.

RaspberryPi: Testing with a new ADC using ESD, (re)wiring, LDRs, recoding Python. How will it work? Click the image to watch the video.

Mirft2: Continuing with trajectory and sensors: why seems only sensor 2 ok? What does ROBOPro tell ? What does the algorithm look like? Also, the scp command should be automated. Click the image to watch the video.

Mydfir: Testing and reasoning about the sensors leads to some code adjusments with regards to values. Some testing shows this finally maye work, but give straight lines and curves the same result? How about the sonar? Click the image to watch the video.

Arduino Yún: After testing, it's time to use all of the Yún: there's Linux too. As well as a USB memory stick. And some code to change. And an extra ssh terminal. Will it work? Click the image to watch the video.

Discovery: To solve an authentication problem, I need to test. But how is the trajectory? And why? And what's with the batteries? Will change of firmware bring clarity? Click the image to watch the video.

RaspberryPi2 & ROS: Testing shows some rewiring is needed and messaging seems a mess again. But how to solve it? Some replacement is needed too. Will it work? Click the image to watch the video.

BeagleBoard & monorail: Reconstructing the carriage is badly needed, but how will it end up? Some wiring is messed up again, but how to fix it? Again testing using Python and diagnose. Click the image to watch the video.