week 1 report

Week 1 (10/05/07 – 11/05/07)

Understanding of the project
This week I obtained some basic understanding of the project. This is human-pet-interactive computer game created by MXR Lab. The pet owner can play with their pet hamsters even when they are physically apart.The hardware part of this project mainly consists of the actuator system and the robotic arm systems. The communication between masters and slaves is I2C and the communication between computer and PIC is blue tooth. This week we will focus on the modification and testing of actuator system.

Work Updates

  • Joined the team on 10th May 2007 and worked immediately on the project. To prevent the decoupling of the stepper motor and the mechanical moving part, we first inserted the metal pieces reducing the gap between coupling and the base of the twelve actuators.
  • An initialization step was also implemented in the modified design. All the actuators will be reset to the initial position (means the lowest position) when the game starts. An initialization switch was attached to the base of each actuator to trigger a signal when the mechanical moving part reached the lowest position.
  • After the modification, reinstalled the actuators into their respective position. Cushions were inserted at the 4 corners of the actuators to absorb the external force and reduce the noise level. The noise level should be strictly controlled since it might distract/scare the hamster.
  • Worked with Roshan, Dereck and Karthik on the 2nd round of I2C testing, observed how the I2C protocol (which enables communication between slaves and masters) works. The wires were replaced by 7-strands wire to increase the robustness and stability of the communication. The slave circuits and master circuits were tested and they were working fine.

Summary
The actuator system full testing was done. The 2nd week (14/05/07 – 18/05/07) we will move on to the integration and testing of robotic arm.

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