Mac OS/X (Intel) driver for SRV-1 Zigbee USB radio - beta version available
The long-awaited virtual com port driver support for the Silicon Labs CP2102 USB bridge chip under Mac OS/X (Intel) has finally arrived. This driver allows users to natively access the SRV-1 USB radio on their Intel-based Macs without having to go through Parallels.
If you have an older PPC-based Mac, you don't need this - the old driver works fine. However, if you have a newer Intel-based Mac, this will be useful. If you want to test this, email us at email@example.com
Posted Wed, 16 May 2007 14:25 |
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Progress report ...
In case you wondered why there haven't been any recent posts to the Robotics Journal, we have been really busy with several projects, and this post is intended to bring interested readers up-to-date.
If there are any questions about these various projects, check in with the Surveyor Robotics Forum or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Many of the early users of the WiPort expansion boards for the SRV-1 had network configuration issues, and we spent a lot of time supporting those users and finding a reliable installation process. As a result, the setup procedure, as shown in http://www.surveyor.com/SRV_wiport.html has been substantially revised, and we're including a USB serial interface card with each expansion module as a fallback for configuration. Users are now getting good results with the WiPort module, including one customer who is mounting the SRV-1 controller and camera (without robot base) to small UAV's and transmitting continuous images via the WiPort module for remote viewing and archiving in order to satisfy the requirements of a US Army contract.
- Along the lines of the above mentioned UAV application, we have received a number of requests to use the SRV-1 electronics in UAV applications, preferably with higher resolution images and higher frame rates. To that end, we have been working on a next-generation robot controller that is intended for small UAV's. It incorporates a 500MHz Analog Devices Blackfin BF537 processor with 1.3 megapixel Omnivision OV9655 camera sensor on a board that will accept interchangeable lenses. The BF537 runs uClinux in 4MB flash and 32MB ram. Final specs are subject to change, but we're working with prototypes now. We aren't committing yet to delivery schedule or pricing, but we hope to have some initial production quantities of these new controllers in the July / August timeframe.
Below is a mockup of the processor + camera - the production camera module has a larger lens and we're on the 2nd generation circuit board, but this is the actual processor size (50mm x 50mm). One of the projects we *really* look forward to working on is the coordination of small UAV's with ground-based SRV-1 robots.
- With regard to SRV-1 development, several users have been working with the Transterpreter / Occam-Pi development environment. The development tools are somewhat rough at the moment, and the SRV-1 extensions still need to be integrated back into the main code repository, but once this is complete, we will encourage SRV-1 users to try these tools - this is a very nice architecture for distributed computing, especially as applied to robotics, and we are enthusiastic about the possibilities.
- Finally, also with regard to the SRV-1, some of our users have experimented with the combination of Python-based Myro and neural networks - there was a very interested thread about this on the Surveyor Robotics Forum - SRV-1 Software. We still plan to add neural network functions to the SRV-1 firmware via the SRV_protocol, and just wanted to see how things played out in using Myro with neural nets on the SRV-1. The results have been quite interesting, so the firmware project should get started again soon.
Posted Thu, 10 May 2007 14:25 |
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