Benilde-St Margaret's Advanced Competitive Science (BSM ACS) team has been one of the SRV-1 Blackfin's most active developers, originating the SRV-RCM expansion board, helping in development of labview-srv console for LabVIEW and extending the definition of robot functions supported in SRV-1 picoC.
BSM ACS is the sole US team competing against 26 other teams representing Japan, Germany, Thailand, Iran and others. The team is maintaining an active blog during their trip - make certain to follow their progress and wish them well at acsatbsm.wordpress.com
We just captured first images from simple srv1 server application running on the Blackfin uclinux port. There's some corrupted frames due to character post-processing on the stdio console that we haven't been able to completely clear, but 50% of the frames are getting through intact. Here's a sample. Apologies for picture quality - lots of reflections from the afternoon sun:
Once the console issue is resolved, the next tasks are adding support for OV7725 (this was taken via OV9655), bumping the baud rate to work at full speed with the Matchport, and then porting various robot controls to our SRV_protocol, SRV_httpd and picoC interfaces. Lots to do, but this was an encouraging first step.
The basic plan is to migrate all of the SRV_protocol, SRV_httpd, and picoC capabilities to run under uClinux, thereby maintaining compatibility with our various Java consoles, labview-srv, Roborealm, etc. The main issue will be adding 2500kbps communication via the Matchport, but we think we have a mechanism to handle this, as the kernel now supports hardware flow control that is required by the Matchport. This project is a top priority and we hope to make significant progress in the upcoming weeks.
We had the opportunity last week to view Snowflake field tests at CIRPAS McMillan Airfield. The Arcturus launched a pair of Snowflake parafoils from 3500-ft, and upon touchdown, the Snowflake controller transmitted GPS coordinates that were relayed to the robot. The robot then autonomously moved to the transmitted coordinates using a script written in picoC. We witnessed 3 successful UAV launch and robot retrieval cycles. Future tests will include drop of a smaller version of the Surveyor robot by parafoil.
Arcturus ready to launch. Note underwing pod carrying the parafoil.
"NAMO" was built as a mascot robot for The Institute of FIeld roBOtics at KMUTT (FIBO) in Thailand. It sports a three-wheel omni-directional wheel system, two arms, and an SRV-1 Blackfin camera vision system.
There are several control options for the SRV-1 / SVS, and it isn't always obvious what approach might be best. Here's a summary:
SRV_protocol: this is the control interface we have provided since the earliest of our SRV-1 robots, and while we continue to add new functions, the core functionality remains the same - mainly ASCII-based commands to access motors, sensors, on-board processing, and system configuration. Through this interface, we directly support four different console programs as well as a variety of third-party and user-developed consoles:
SRV1Console: - java-based console with user-definable buttons and web proxy support for remote robot control
SRV1Test: - another java-based console with support for direct input of SRV_protocol commands
SRV HTTP: this uses the browser as the robot control console, and generally works with smart phones as well as full-sized computers. Almost all of the functions accessed via SRV_protocol are available through the HTTP interface.
picoC: this is the onboard C-interpreter that enables programming the SRV-1/SVS for fully autonomous behaviors. Most of the SRV_protocol functions are available under program control with ANSI-C syntax.
This is a first test version 0.1 of the labview-srv LabVIEW 2009 console for SRV-1 / SVS Blackfin, written by Dr Chris Rogers of Tufts University (http://www.tufts.edu/~crogers/) and Tim Jump of Benilde-St Margaret's School, using QT libraries by Christophe Salzmann of EPFL.
The code includes support for live video capture, motion control, firmware uploads, picoC editing and interaction, with many additional features planned. Feedback from testers will be greatly appreciated.
This is a high school RoboCup Junior soccer team VELASRANDY from Slovakia using SRV-1 Blackfin camera and SRV-RCM expansion board for image processing and control. They just won their national competition and are headed to international competition in Singapore. Very impressive !!!