Outdoor Robot project

I am designing an outdoor semi-autonomous robot. It will based on a simple two hubmotor(brushless hall sensor) platform and a caster. I have the LIFE battery for 48V and a Roboteq dual channel motor controller. I need advice as to what processor to obtain and programming help.

Development Stage 1:

Initially I would like to have the following:

Remote activated on and full stop. Initialization at desired heading
Remote activated turn of 180 degrees…and then follow that heading until the next turn button press. At which time it will turn 180 degrees in the opposite direction and maintain the new heading.
Remotely controlled overall speed and/or some random speed variation within a remote parameter.

I guess I need to know what sensor would be the most appropriate to obtain for heading information (compass, gyro, or both) and what brands are easily integrated into the RobotC programming language,

Development stage 2:

I would like to add long range (maxbotix??) ultrasonic sensors perhaps in an array or moving scan and/ or LIDAR(Hoyuko UTM) to add reactive interaction between the bot and moving objects. As such I would like to know if these additional sensors are something that can be used by the VEX series of CPUs.

Short of going to labview/Rio which is overwhelming in price and understanding I am having a difficult time finding software/harware which interfaces directly with these items.

Thank you for the help.

Have you looked at an Ardunio. They handle sensors quite well, can output pwm to your motor controller, and they can be interfaced with a typical rc remote and receiver although this last part is a tad bit odd to do.

I’m confused, you’re willing to spend 5K on a LIDAR, but not on software? IMO, you should go for a RoboRio and use WPILib!

Also a Jetson TK1 would work well, as it could handle a LIDAR!

If you were to go with a cortex, you’d have to regulate it down to 7.2V - 8V

I picked up the LIDAR dirt cheap used and MIGHT eventually want to incorporate it into the setup. I’m not familiar with all these terms so please bear with me. I looked at the Roborio and it looks great. WPIlib?

Voltage regulation is a minor issue compared to the rest:)

I built a telepresence robot a few months ago using the following setup:

Computer control->server->cell phone->usb OTG->arduino->motor controller->motors

My motor controller :http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MGBD8Q4?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00

Just learned a lot right here…thanks for the tips

it is true that you have to feed 7.2 ish volts into the cortex but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a second battery for stuff that you need higher voltage.

for example I am building an rov that takes 5 volts into the beaglebone while the motors run off of 11.1 volts.


The voltage supply is a MINOR issue. I can buy a 48 to 12 V golfcart regulator off ebay for dirt cheap. Then run 12 into a distribution board for 5V etc.

The main issue is getting GOOD and rapid heading control and a cpu that could support the EVENTUAL use of either a sonar array or lidar for reactive solutions to a moving obstacle. Leddar also makes a nice ranging solution.

I can state what I want the robot to do…it’s just finding a CPU and programming solution that supports the proper hardware.

I would like the robot to operate in an open field with the operating dimensions of approximately a rectangular 80ft x 20ft. Will the NAVx-mxp provide enough accuracy to restrict the motion close to this area? Like I mentioned before I will be using turn to heading activated by an operator OR activation of a proximity sensor to initiate the turn. I have decided Lidar is overkill for an open field just to detect objects approaching the robot and ultrasonic should be fine.