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scout updates: mounting things properly [updates]

So after realizing I don't know how to use any software what-so-ever, and debugging some electrical issues. We've decided today is hardware-mounting day instead. We're going to mount all the hardware we want to mount to the scout robot so we can get an accurate if we can actually carry this much junk. That includes the ardupilot, the GPS, etc. And then later we can setup the software to get the Ardupilot interfacing with the Jetson TX1 and everything! Over winter break, I made this great drone frame thing that mounts both the Ardupilot and the GPS unit to the frame. We calibrated both together on the frame so we could just mount the frame and not worry about moving the robot around 7 axis to calibrate it.

But the first thing we are going to do is create a layout for this whole thing, a base that all the systems can sit on without moving or shuffling around. We're going to create this out of the pieces we failed to use in the laser cut and then VHB tape them to the frame!

We also VHB taped the 12V/19V converter we took off to the frame now that it works. This surface we created we will use as a platform to mount all the main control electronics and sensors to it. Think of the lowest level of the frame as the core-base just for power distribution, everything needs power. Then the second level of the frame as the lowest-level-control layer it has all the motor controllers and communications and etc. Then this top-level of electronics we are building is the upper-most control and logic layer with sensors and perception as well! We want the system to be able to ROS SLAM indoor navigation, Ardupilot GPS outdoor navigation, and etc. This is called the "sensing backpack" for scout as it has ALL the sensors, it has ALL the logic and etc.

All of this, for the sake of time and for now will be mounted using simple VHB tape as it will allow us just to test the system without it being a pain to take things on and off the robot.

Note the now mounted main control board and the Ardupilot for the IMU and the GPS system as well. FOR NOW: this is all we are going to mount. We probably want to mount a stereo camera and a LiDAR as well. But that will come later. This is a mostly finished platform because now that there's a triple-redundancy IMU on the system, we can get the platform to stabilize with the IMU. Everything is now USB'd together - and we will be able to build and connect to MAVROS and etc. USB-to-CAN will come later. The good news about all of this is because we aren't powering anything from the servo-rail, we can just use the USB Power to get data from the system. There's no need to use the power adapter (at least not as of yet). I believe powering straight from USB will power the GPS and the beeper and etc. And that's really all we need, just the logic from the Ardupilot. That will all come later in more details. For now, the sensor backpack is built and we're waiting on responses from REV to help with the CAN stuff.

The final thing to do is turn it all on and TEST the power system. So we turned on the power, we turned on the Jetson TX1 and the Ardupilot made all the nice beeping noises that we need from an Ardupilot and the GPS turned on and everything seemed to work. Software will start coming later. We want to get the CANBridge working. But it also may finally be time to take the thing off the foam block we've been keeping it on. Clean the room. And let us start working on it properly. Sitting to standing and etc. For now, I'm too lazy though.

BRIEFLY: let's talk about where we are putting the batteries. The batteries are going to go wherever they fit to be honest. That will probably be towards the back in a battery tray that we aren't thinking about right now. We also aren't thinking about runtimes right now we may need more batteries but we will get there when we do.

#updates #scout #robotics #ardupilot #gps #updates

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