For the RC Vehicle, the minimum features we required were that the vehicle was large enough to hold the external components such as the onboard computer, the camera, and the Arduino. The body also had to be good for mounting these devices too, as well as bumpers and other protective equipment. We also needed to be able to buy replacement parts if they were necessary.
To fulfill these requirements, we searched the large selection of RC Vehicles at Hobby King and found the Turnigy 1/16 4x4 Mini Trooper SCT (RTR). This vehicle is large enough for all our components and is able to mount our components too, as well as being a common vehicle from a popular RC Vehicle vendor, so replacement parts should be easy to find.
For the vehicle battery, the minimum features we required were that the battery was compatible with our vehicle, could fit in the chassis of our vehicle, and has a decently long battery life. We selected the Turnigy nano-tech 2200mah 3S 45~90C Lipo Pack. This battery is a Turnigy battery so will be compatible with our vehicle and the 2200mAh size of the battery means that it should have long enough battery life to power our vehicle for a decent amount of time.
After the work we completed first semester, we feel confident our initial experiments don’t require an Nvidia Jetson board and will instead be using the Odroid-XU4 we have been using for testing purposes. The one we had been using in the first semester was on loan from a team member.
We needed an Arduino to capture PPM signals from the RC Receiver to control the vehicle. It also needed to communicate with the on-board computer, whether to receive a command from the neural network, or to send information about the vehicles wheel angle to the on-board computer when collection training data. For our first semester testing, we were using an Arduino Uno to do the job.
At the end of the first semester, we had decided on using the Romeo BLE Mini in place of the Arduino Uno. This device was smaller than an Arduino Uno, but still had enough pins to connect all the devices we needed to connect, as well as having 3 pin connections, making it easier to connect the devices without use of excessive amounts of wires. Unfortunately, this product was out of stock at the beginning of the second semester. Instead of waiting for this to come into stock, we instead went with the Romeo BLE. This is essentially the same as an Arduino Uno, but has 3 pin connections for our steering servo and ESC, as well as servo controllers built in, if we were to use a swivel mount for the camera, which we have decided against.
In order to use our battery to power the on-board computer, we needed to get a battery eliminator circuit to regulate the input voltage to the computer. We selected the Micro BEC 3A/5v. This will properly control the voltage and make sure we don't burn out our computer.
In order to enable communication from the on-board computer, we needed to purchase a simple USB Wifi receiver. We selected the TP-Link N150 Wireless Nano USB. This simple, cheap option, will allow us to connect the on-board computer to Wifi with ease.
In order to manually control the RC Vehicle, we need an RC Controller to send signals to an RC Receiver. We needed an RC Controller that has at least 4 channels for steering, throttle, user control switch, and a kill switch. We also needed a controller and receiver than can send and receive PPM signals, so we limit the amount of input pins necessary on the Arduino.
We selected the Turnigy Evolution Digital AFHDS 2A Radio Control. This simple, gaming controller style, RC Controller outputs 8 Channel PPM Signals to an included receiver. There are multiple switches that we can map to control switches so we can change between user and computer control, as well as a kill switch, to make sure the user can quickly stop the computer from doing something dangerous if necessary.
Our on-board camera required a fast exposure, compatibility with UVC, and a global shutter. We also wanted software configurable settings such as exposure, brightness, white balance, auto-focus, and contrast. We selected the ODROID oCam-1MGN-U. This grey-scale camera fits all of the above requirements, and was fairly cheap compared to other camera options we considered.
We needed various other items to assist in the development of our project.
An HDMI Cable allows us to connect the onboard computer to a monitor and see any information it has to display.
We also needed additional memory for the on-board computer and selected the Odroid eMMC 32 GB. This additional memory allows us to have more working space on the Odroid on-board computer.
We also needed a USB hub so we can connect more devices to the on-board computer.
Hardware Purchasing Proposals
The files below are the revisions to our proposals for ordering the hardware we plan to use for our vehicle.
Hardware Parts Order Proposal 1
Hardware Parts Order Proposal 2
- Finalized Hardware Parts Order Proposal
- Second Semester Order Proposal
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