P08205: RP 1 Motor Module First Generation
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Walter Interview 20070924

Interview with Dr. Wayne Walter

Interviewer(s): Wendy Fung, Jason Kenyon, Jasen Lomnick, Hoai-Nam Nguyen

Interviewee: Dr. Wayne Walter, Faculty Guide, ME

Date: 24 September 2007, Robotics Lab

What is your role in the project?
My role is to keep the team on track. I will provide as much technical knowledge as possible or refer to appropriate people if necessary.
What was liked in the previous robots?
In the motor module, there were two motors with one used for driving and one for steering. A turntable was used to achieve infinite rotation which was a plus but there was too much slop. The AY 07-08 RP10 team will be trying to redesign the turntable to reduce the slack but keep the infinite rotation and the basic geometry. The modules were either driven or idlers.
The RP10 platform team had a single platform for the triangular geometry but it had a lot of bend. The rectangular one tended to sag at the joints.
What are some problems you noticed?
The customer had wanted to see the PC104 used. But there were problems with communications between the modules and the controllers. The EE did not recommend using the PC104. It works when there are no modules and no communications required. The RP100 platform used a PIC microcontroller. They had considered welding the parts together but decided against it due to the unknown changes in material properties it would have caused. The H-Bridges burnt out frequently in the RP100. VICTOR can talk to motors which can give out high PWM signals and possibly has built-in H-Bridges. The PIC can communicate with Victor. The timing belt was not liked because it created noise. It sounded as if the belt was slipping.
Any other information?
Last year, about $15,000 was split among six teams: RP10 Platform, RP10 Motor Module, RP100 Platform, RP100 Motor Module, Dynamometry, and a motor controller project started in the EE department. If possible, use things that EE and CE are familiar with from class. Nick Mackos and David Gomez would be useful contacts about past projects. Do earlier benchmarking to understand how things work and their performance. The robots did not fully meet the remote control (or autonomous) requirements. The specifications and the performance should be compared at the end. The RP10's size and weight was an overkill in comparison to the RP100. The RP10 should have been approximately a tenth of the RP100 but it was nearly the same.
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