What your project?

I didn’t know if ChIt-ChAt was the appropriate place for this but oh well…

I was just wondering what people personal projects are. Whether it be programming, or mech or electrical, or everything. I will start off:

A custom GPS controlled robot with encoders, accelerometers, gyros and a digital compass. It will be able to move from and to GPS coordinate which means it will be able to follow a path. I will also have code on it which can make it balance on 2 wheels, and maybe with a pnuematic on it so it can stand itself up. It have a 24"x24"x5" frame make from 1/2" .0625 walled box tubing with 14" pnuematic skyway wheels. It will be driven by 2 1/2" drill motors (for those of you who are as old, they are old kit motors). Right now I have an old pbasic control system to put on it if I wish. But I will also be making a custom controller with the Atmel AVR series microcontrollers. I will most likely be using the radio modems, and have a wireless access point on board along with being able to mount my laptop on it. And it will eventually have a long range radio system on it so it can go miles from the control point. I would like to put a video feed on it too. Right now it can hold about 6 robot batteries in the chassis and will be expandable up to 24 robot batteries while still being able to flip over and drive on top/bottom along with having wheel edges pertrude from the fornt/back of it so it will hopefully never get stuck. For connecting all the power I have 3 Anderson 175 Amp battery connectors and atx style fuse panels (old kit panels). As an addintional option on it I will be trying to make a robotic arm abot to mount on it with 4 screws and use 2 fisher price motors and trannies.

I don’t believe I left anything out. What about you guys?


Geez… I’m just trying to get this excel spreadsheet (for my backup logbook for flight) to work the way I want it to…

My team is designing a robot that can crush cans for recycling… wow, that doesnt sound nearly as nifty as your project.

That sounds pretty awesome! What kind of GPS units are you using? Are you really going to code for it in pbasic? That could get very interesting very fast…

Personally I build autonomous cars. I’m working on the Cornell DARPA Urban Challenge team (yes, the competition that preceeded the videos of the roach-bot). I built an HCS12-run actuation controller for the car that is controlled via ethernet, as well as a synchronized, ethernet-enabled, distributed sensor network. At this point I’ve designed and prototyped about 12 different devices that are now mostly functioning in our competition vehicle.

I would definitely say that had I not been able to do FIRST in high school I would not have been able to accomplish a fraction of what I have this past year for the team. For all the seniors I would recommend joining (or starting if necessary) a project team, research group, or other extra-curricular project once you graduate and go off to college. The work experience you’ll get there is much closer to life after school than anything you’ll get in your classes, and it’s much more fun too!

For the rest of the year that I’m not doing FIRST, I serve on the Cal Poly Pomona Tournament of Roses Parade Float Committee which is responsible for the design and construction of the float.

Up this coming summer I have planned:

  • Car stuff (alarm, window tint, neons, stereo upgrades, rims and the like)
  • Parties!
  • Playing with a woot item I bought the last weekend of buildas a frivilous spending item.
  • Spring/Summer cleaning of the house and garage.
  • New Garage doors (hopefully)
  • Spending more time than I was able to last summer with my lil bro and sis hopefully.
  • Working on the 2 Mustangs more than likely. ('65 Fastback & '70 Mach 1)
  • (we have some parts already in for the Mustangs - yay!)
  • Car shows with the '50 Mercury.
  • Huge car show in NJ Labor Day weekend.
  • Concerts - 1 planned already in Boston, more to come hopefully.
  • Buy bike, ride said bike. (used to ride bikes all the time back in the day)
  • Lots of other multiple random projects yet to be decided.
  • Some N.E.R.D. activities
    The only project I already started gathering supplies for is the Carbide Cannon which will be done soon-ish.
    Gotta love books. :smiley:

Team stuff:

  • Mini comps
  • Planning a 10 year team anniversary party
  • Work on the website/webteam
  • Fundraising
    *]Public demonstrations.

No no no not pbasic, I want this thing to work!:stuck_out_tongue: But Like I said I am making the control system with a Atmel AVR series uC, which is programmed in C. You are able to program in PBASIC. But I feel in trying to make it simple by using PBASIC the language makes things harder. There are more commands and etc to use. I like using C it is really easy to me. For the GPS I have no idea right now. I haven’t even finished the chassis. I am at college and started the chassis over spring break and left it home so the chassis should be done by the end of may. Which means rolling, I am hoping to get motors on by that time too so I can play with it. But once it is built the only thing I need to do is write the programs for it. But my plan is to have the gyro and encoders on before the GPS, that way I can say go this far then turn this much, etc. The only problem I am having is I am thinking I want a preprocessor for the encodes. Because this thing has a theoretical speed of like 18mph which means the processor will be really bogged down from interrupts. I am thinking I will just talk to the other processor via SPI. But that is all for another day to talk about.:wink:


Are those cars show cars or performance cars?


That’s sick! Floats rock!

I am running my 501(c)3 non-profit corporation (Computers for Communities (http://www.computers4communities.org)). This consumes most of my time. I set up computer labs, move computers around, have conferences, do inspirational speaking, etc. I love what I do. Right now, our biggest initiative is to get CFC spread throughout the country by having other people set up local CFCs in their area to distribute computers that they locally refurbished to people of need in their area. This requires both funding and volunteers. This is my latest challenge.

I also have a bunch of little programming/comp. engin. projects on the side that I do for fun. Maybe one day I will type up the details of some of those. Not today. I’m very tired.


I am not challenging you but, if you say to someone who doesn’t know what your talking about, “Yea I want to spread CFC throughout the country” I hope they don’t think your talking about Chlorofluorocarbons and your trying to deplete the atmosphere. :eek:

That project sounds cool, someone up here at Clarkson was trying to get a program going to have a apartment over in the goverment house or whatever it is called, with computers and college students in there so kid can get help with there homework or just go to hang out with the stundents. It sounded like a really cool project and like it would help the kids too. I don’t know what ever happened to it though.


John, the Merc is the only car set up now for “show” and also cruising. Customized in the late 60’s and then junked, it has been with my Mom’s fiance’ as long as I have lived. (He picked it up around 79-80 and it was a mess. With gas prices at what they are nowadays, and 12 miles per gallon with the Pontiac flathead, it’s kind of hard to enjoy crusing nowadays and just requires a fillup to go to the local show we go a few towns over regularly. :ahh:
It is pretty though and has won multiple awards at the local shows we take it to.

The '65 fastback is a work in progress, as we just picked up the dual carb setup, and dual exhaust & headers as well. It’s almost the same color as the Merc there, but lighter and is setup to be a Shelby clone by the previous owner who we purchased from only about 2-3 years ago if I recall coreectly. It is the baby of the family. lol (Btw, it came that light purple color - Whereas the Merc was orginally going to be purple with green flames as one seen in a hot-rod magazine years back, but were swayed to just go ahead and do the Grease style flames from the Merc in that movie. The flames were laid out by a then good friend of ours, who is also the father of 3 team 237 members who came through the program before I even joined the team. (Small world.)

The ‘70 Mach 1 is a true survivor. Originally Blue, it was painted black after being in one accident since it had to be redone anyways, and since it was painted black has been in 13 accidents. It was purchased in the late 70’s as well and has been with my Mom’s fiance’ ever since.
We are changing that color this year. lol No more blue or black.
More like a deep amethyst probably.

I’ll get pics of the 2 mustangs up when I get home.

Sadly I don’t own any of these cars, they just sit at my house taking up garage and driveway space.

I can look for now, but can’t “play”… Yet.

I was obviously raised a Ford person going by the 3 choices (and the others, 55 Fairlane, 72(?) Maverick, LTD, and others throughout the years), but have gone to the Mopar side lately, and will probably end up picking up a Charger or Demon or a similar Muscle car in the future myself. Something I can have fun with, and do a little more than just cruise around with.