Table of Contents
The selection of specific components and systems will affect the overall design of the RC Camera Car. The following examples are the project's Design Drivers.
ChassisThe provided Freescale Cup chassis includes a drive and steering system. It has a low clearance, has unstable joints, and is loosely assembled. There have been reports of motor failure. If the Freescale Cup chassis is an unchangeable part of the design, care must be taken to design a course that the vehicle can survive driving around. The vehicle's speed and turning radius may need to be strictly controlled to prevent the vehicle from falling apart. A robust and modular design will be key to performance and durability.
Camera SystemThere are several options for the camera system. A digital camera can be attached to the microcontroller, which will transmit the video to the control station through its existing wireless connection. Alternatively, a standalone camera system can be used; this camera would not communicate with the vehicle's systems, and directly transmit video to the control system with its own wireless connection. The choice of camera method will affect the design of the vehicle's embedded system, as well as the control station.
Other technological design drivers include battery life, control range, and sensor accuracy. These will impact the performance and the perceived quality. Component quality will be directly constrained by budget and customer requirements.
Embedded System/MicrocontrollerThe Freescale Cup has provided a Freedom board with custom modifications. As was reported, it has a limited number of pins for motor control and input/output, and very little documentation. If used, the electronic and embedded design must accommodate the board; it may be necessary to modify the board to gain access to more inputs, or use a second microcontroller if the board may not be modified.
Control StationA design driver for the control station is its dependance on a computer or a mircocontroller to handle communication with the vehicle.
The use of a computer will offer options for video processing/overlays and greater range of plug-and-play control systems, as well as the option of future abilities, such as recording.
An embedded system will reduce the system cost, require less on-site configuration, but may have limitations on plug-and-play control systems. The video would not be modified by the microcontroller, and would go directly to a monitor.
Learning curve time and car responsiveness are design drivers that factor into the immersive driving experience and will impact demonstrations.