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Week 14 - Spartan Superway Controls

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This week, we were able to get the bogie running with the completed track from the track team. Below is a video showing the control system working in the new bogie, podcar, and track. I recommend watching with CC/subtitles on to see an explanation of the control system working.


As you can see in the video, our podcar is able to read the RFID cards and is able to switch between the outer and inner loops. Through this, we can say that our control system has been successful and is ready for Maker Faire. We will be making fine adjustments throughout the week to ensure that each pod works fine and will begin creating our second and third podcars.

Week 13 - Spartan Superway Controls

This week, we were able to assemble a working podcar using pod car's new print, a prototype of bogie team's new bogie, and a turning section from the track team. Through this, we found that our electronics were up to the task of being able to run using the new 1:1 gear ratio. I believe that the added 7.4V from the battery also helps give us more torque and speed for the bogie and we are very happy with the results. From this point, we can start integrating parts from the controls such as the RFID tags to ensure that the control system will work as a complete system.

Week 12 - Spartan Superway Controls

This week, we presented our second presentation. We went through how the GUI works and cleared up with other groups what work needs to be done for us to create a working bogie. We plan to have a working prototype in the next few weeks once a track is built, a bogie is made, and a pod is printed.
This week, we started working on collision detection by attaching the ultrasonic sensor to the Arduino. We were able to get the control system to stop when an object is detected and resume once there is nothing blocking the sensor. From this, we can start working on different ways to implement it, such as matching the speed of the pod in front.

Week 11 - Spartan Superway Controls

For this week, we will be preparing our second presentation highlighting the work that he have done the past few weeks.

As a highlight, we were able to get our miniature model running with the GUI. From this point, we started working with the bogie team to figure out how each component will be mounted and how they will be adjusted. We found that the motors will be running a 1:1 gear ratio as the bogie has been slimmed down and the motor will be extending past the wheel. We will need to do further testing to ensure that we have not lost much torque that the bogie will no longer move.

Week 9-10 - Spartan Superway Controls

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Coming back from spring break, we were successfully able to combine our GUI, Raspberry Pi, and Xbee modules to create a mobile device that can send directions to the podcars. Using Raspbian Limux, we were able to open the GUI and implement the COM port of the Xbee into the script. Through this, the commands selected in the GUI are successfully sent to our miniature model.

From this point on, we will be waiting on both the track team and the bogie team to create a working prototype that we can test our electronics on. Once successfully tested, we can go ahead and order the rest of the parts and begin assembly of the three pods.

A video of the control system can be seen below:


Week 8 - Spartan Superway Controls

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This week, I was able to pick up a Raspberry Pi along with a 7" touchscreen. This setup is better than using a monitor as it will be handheld and can be passed around. In addition, it allows us to program the GUI such that it should be used on a mobile device rather than a computer screen. We will work on getting the GUI to work on the Raspberry Pi, which can be seen below.

Week 6-7 - Spartan Superway Controls

This week, we began working on multi-pod capability in the GUI. To do this, we implemented another section that allows us to pick between pods 1, 2, or 3, then select which destination station the user wants. Once the command is sent, each pod will obtain the direction and the specific pod will be sent to that specific station.

In addition, I began looking into different ways we may be able to use the GUI. Because we ran into problems with the current server-mobile configuration, I believe using a secondary device dedicated to running the GUI would work the best. We would be able to use a Raspberry Pi running Linux to run our Python script and plug in a monitor so that the whole GUI can be seen when we present our project.