Hardware Mods

The more technical aspects of Spirit, and carry-over discussion from Kickstarter updates.
romamaker
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2017 9:15 pm

Hardware Mods

Postby romamaker » Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:34 pm

Since I can't do anything with the software yet, decided to start with some hardware modifications. Adding wireless charging via Adafruit's inductive coils. Tested out the coils, and they work great. Working on a 3d printed mounting design to mount the coils to Spirit and to hold the transmitter. I've like having access to the Pi's HDMI port for setting up the Pi, and for working on and troubleshooting computer vision code. While the HDMI port is accessible, it's a bit tight in there. I had a little trouble finding an HDMI cable with a casing thing enough to fit. So I'm adding a little dongle to extend the HDMI port up to the more accessible location. To do this, I'm using (also from Adafruit) some DYI HDMI ends and a thin ribbon cable. I've got one male end and one female end. The thickest part of the mail end is literally the metal connector that fits inside the HDMI port, so it's very, very thin. I'm going to make some sort of clip or mount that will allow me to attach the female end to the top of the rover. You can see these parts in the attached image. The ribbon cable I'll end up using is only 10cm long, while the one pictured is longer. (The 10cm was out of stock when I placed my order... will pick it up later.)
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romamaker
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2017 9:15 pm

Re: Hardware Mods

Postby romamaker » Sat Sep 30, 2017 1:44 pm

So, after testing the induction coils to make sure they were working, I hooked them up to the rover for proof of concept. And wireless charging was a success! Now I just need to figure out how I want to mount the coils to the rover. Trying to decide between mounting on the bottom of the rover, or maybe mounting them vertically to the back, where the rover would just back up against a target to charge. Either way, I'm going for a "quick release" type of mount where I can easily pop off the wireless charger if need be. Probably going to design a charging "dock", where the rover will use camera for initial approach, then will use bottom sensors to read pattern on the ground for final alignment and "docking". Included is a picture of the proof of concept. Sorry for the poor lighting, but you'll see the induction coils over on the right, then note the charging light on the rover!
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romamaker
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2017 9:15 pm

Re: Hardware Mods

Postby romamaker » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:30 pm

Decided to go with the back mount for the wireless charger. My plan is, once I have access to the software side, is to use the camera to get close to the charging "target". Once Spirit is close, she'll spin around, and back up to the target using the bottom line sensors as a guide. (The charging "base" will be some sort of card stock / poster board with alignment guides drawn on. Also got the HDMI extension mounted!

Just need to solder some wires together, and I'll be able to put the electronics in place.
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