Control Team Update

Hello team, sponsors, family and friends!

Just wanted to give an update to everyone about the controls team progress over the break. After the typical brutality that is finals week, the controls team came together and worked hard to keep moving ahead during what is usually a much needed break. The team worked hard to ensure a prototype of the mobility system was built and tested, research into the autonomous traversal system and the equipment needed was done, as well as researching ways to implement a fuzzy logic style of inverse kinematics for the control of the arm. Let’s dive in!

Mobility/Autonomous Traversal
Thanks to the mechanical team for building us a test bed for our mobility system. We started off just trying out the new Sabretooth ESC’s with the two motor per one gear-box setup. Initial tests with the Taranis RC controller allowing the Sabretooth’s to use their own board differential steering were mostly successful. We also tested out our remote USB joystick control of the rover. While this was initially a successful prove of concept, further testing proved it was unreliable and unpredictable. Further research has shown our approach via TCP methods is probably the cause, and we have since switched to a UDP solution.

On the autonomous end, we have bought and prepared a runt rover to allow for further testing of our intended autonomous traversal methods. We have also purchased a GPS solution that allows for centimeter accuracy in our readings.

Arm Control
As the mechanical pieces of the arm come together, the controls team has been researching ways to implement an Adaptive-Neuro Fuzzy Inference System (ANFIS) inverse kinematics system. Most of the actuators have been purchased and the carbon fiber is being manufactured in house by our mechanical team.

Thanks to our dedicated electrical team, prototypes and plans are coming together. Expect to see much more in our power distribution and kill-switch system. Science cache and astronaut assistance systems are ready for prototype and we should be able to begin planning for wiring for the final rover system.

Overall, we made some great progress over the break and have learned quite a lot about the system we are trying to put together. Thanks to my team for all the hard work they have done over the break! Lets keep this momentum going and make sure to amaze the URC with our showing of this years rover.