UMass Lowell Rover Hawks:
NASA RASC-AL Robo-Ops 2013

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Guest lecture by Arnis Mangolds

On Thursday, March 28, Arnis Mangolds of C-2i Inc. came to talk to our class about robot design.  He discussed design decisions for the Lemmings and Talon from his days at Foster-Miller as well as the design of his company's SeaOtter.  While we won't be taking our robot into rivers, lakes or surf zones, there was much to be learned about constraining problems and designing the best solution to fit needs and requirements.  

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Building the Rover Hawk's computer

Some of you might have noticed that our mid-review video showed our rover with a laptop strapped to the chassis with a bungee cord. We were temporarily using that machine, borrowed from one of our Pioneers, while we figured out our computing needs for the rover. We decided to build our own computer, using a Pelican case to seal it from the elements. (Don't worry -- we have fans with filters for our cooling needs.) Our parts arrived yesterday, and we've been assembling the computer.

Friday, March 22, 2013

IEEE Spectrum Automaton Blog

Our mid-project review video was included in today's Video Friday post on the IEEE Spectrum Automaton blog. If you reached our blog through that post, welcome. Stay tuned for updates on our progress towards the June competition.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Mid-Project Review Rover Video

We have just released our mid-project review video, showing the Rover Hawk moving through 10" of sand, over 5" of pea gravel, and up and down 30 degree inclines.

We are already redesigning the rover to make it move even better.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

It's alive!

Yesterday, we put the rover through some of the test courses at the NERVE Center, including gravel, sand, and the inclines of the splash pools (without the water -- we're definitely not water sealed).  We're editing a video now, which will be posted tomorrow.  Watch for it.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Wheels Spinning!

It has been a very long day here in the lab. The motors, controllers, and encoders are all wired up. The motors are now spinning and attached to the chassis.

Chassis going together

The motor mounts are installed and the encoders are installed on the motors. More to come!