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Philly Robotics November 2010 Meetup Summary

From: Roy B
Sent on: Friday, December 3, 2010 10:57 PM
Hi Everyone.

The October meetup was quite exciting. Tom demoed his Parrot AR Drone quadrotor and we all got a chance to fly it for a short time (actually, this was my first time flying a quad). It was a little finicky getting the network connection to work, and I didn't really care for the iPhone tilt control, but the vehicle was very stable. You get a lot of technology for $300.

Bonus link: Parrot AR Teardown:

Tom also showed his ARM-9 based TS-7500 control board and dev kit, which is his choice to drive his scratch-built quad. The board has its own FPGA. Like the AR Drone, it will also run Linux. You can read all about his progress on his blog, here:

Nelson showed off his Python to C interface code that he described last time as part of the ultrasonic ranging uGPS project. He used it to process some actual data readings that Glen provided. The algorithm showed a bit more error than was expected; its possible that the raw data had an issue. We also discussed possible generic error sources, such as a skew angle between the ultrasonic emitter and the receiver, and the "filtering" or degradation of the pulse as it travels through the air. Glen will collect some more data for calibration. Two ideas were brought up in terms of sensor array placement. The first is to mount the beacon/emitters is a rigid frame to ensure the sensors are located in a known constant configuration. The second is to have the beacons determine their configuration on the fly - which may be a more challenging problem than orgininally thought!

The next meetup will be Dec 9th at the Hive, as you probably just saw in your inbox. As always, let me know if you have any topics, questions, or projects you'd like to discuss and I will put them on the agenda for the next meetup.

- Roy

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