Find out about the progress of Project Origin.

Thousands of lines of code later...

posted 9 Dec 2011, 09:30 by Chris Alexander

Development has been haring along on Windows. A hell of a lot of infrastructure has gone into place to make it all very generic (just how I like it) although I really need to get an implementation done ASAP.

We have also secured a room in the department we can lock. This will allow us to test out the robot in a much larger space, as well as leave it somewhere secure so it doesn't have to be carried around so much.

Hudson has been set up as a build server, which should facilitate much easier integration and testing, and some very cool code documentation being published online.

Moving to Windows

posted 22 Nov 2011, 16:00 by Chris Alexander

I have (finally) got Windows 7 installed on the Macbook. I have also started a new .NET project for the code for the robot. Strictly that is not true - it is already tens of projects in 4 solutions - nice and complicated.

I have also been getting very comfy with MEF, resulting in some very nice code architectures. Unfortunately you are not likely to see them soon. For now I am keeping the code closed-source, for various reasons. I will release as much as I can and see fit, where there is demand. I will keep writing about my exploits though.

News Update

posted 20 Nov 2011, 12:09 by Chris Alexander

There's been a lot of stuff happening and I haven't had much of a chance to talk about it.

The motion for the robot is well and truly underway now. Here are some videos of the progress:

MotorHawk C# interface, controlling the robot through code -

Simple remote control of the robot over WiFi -

Today's innovation, tilt-based remote control of the robot from a mobile phone -

There have been some thoughts going into the next stages for the robot.

I think I may switch over to using Windows and C# for the whole project. This will be a better for a number of reasons:
- Use official Kinect SDK, get audio support and better support from Microsoft
- Only need to run one OS on the laptop so get better performance
- All the code can run in one app
- I can test the app on my desktop PC
- Less need to rely on wireless connections passing data for essential processing off-device

I am also planning the hardware for Amoeba-2, based on what I've learnt from this robot. It should be a lot more powerful but will probably not be manufactured until Christmas at least.

Amoeba-1 grows a Kinect

posted 26 Oct 2011, 14:19 by Chris Alexander

I've been playing around and mounted the Kinect on the robot to see how it looks and how it will work internally.

Looks like there will be some pretty serious space constraints inside (not sure I can fit the Kinect's battery in) as the Kinect has a lot of cable I'm not willing to chop up in a hurry, but I'm sure something can be worked out with some clever relocating.

Amoeba-1 hardware mods

posted 23 Oct 2011, 13:14 by Chris Alexander

I've modified the original BigTrak chassis to encorporate the MacBook, resulting in a very cool looking machine. Can't wait to get the Kinect on this too!

Introducing Amoeba-1

posted 16 Oct 2011, 13:06 by Chris Alexander

Yesterday you saw some sneak previews of the first robot built as part of Origin. Today I'm pleased to announce the official birth of Amoeba-1, which is the code-name for this robot.

Amoeba-1 has already been showing its skills off in this YouTube video. For the first time the machine is remotely controlled by me from across the room.

This may seem like simple behaviour, and it is very incoherent. However, a lot of work has gone into making the robot do this. Find out more about this in the blog post on my site:

USB control of BigTrak

posted 15 Oct 2011, 07:53 by Chris Alexander

The implementation of USB control of BigTrak's motors has been completed.

This photo shows its test configuration with the Motorhawk circuit board.

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