so...whats the project?
I know this is the Game, Web, Software Development forum, but I figured this could go in here as well. I'd like to dedicate this thread to those of us that do embedded designs. We can use this thread to discuss projects, ask questions, and generally bullshit about stuff.
So we're using a RaspPi model B for a project we're doing, anyone used one of these in an embedded system? It's going to send/receive large amounts of data wirelessly as well as some encoding stuff.
so...whats the project?
Sorry, just got the RaspPi's in today, been fooling with them.
We are making a K9 Wireless Communication System for the state police. Basically a wireless video/audio stream to the officer featuring the dogs POV as well as environmental noise. On top of that, the officer will be able to issue commands through both voice and buttons (possibly key-tones, not sure). Additional things will be GPS monitoring, remote shock collar, and remote treating.
We're done with the initial design and starting the coding this week while the electrical engineers do their thing. I will add pics and updates as they happen in case anyone is interested.
Do you have a faculty adviser for this? I think I saw the old thread, and it seemed a little ambitious for a senior design type project. Would definitely be interested to hear how it's going along from time to time.
I was just reading about the raspberry pi boards the other day. They should be perfect for what you're doing. What did you figure out for the radio link?
Also, are your hardware guys even doing anything if you're just using an off the shelf computer?
Last edited by BrutulTM; 01-09-2013 at 02:31 PM.
We're using a raspberry pi for processing and everything. They need to make a whole bunch of circuits for different things. They need to make the circuit for the transceiver units, GPS unit, tazer unit, treat collar, etc. The majority of the work on this project is indeed the programming, but the hardware guys definitely have a good amount of work as well. The good thing is the electrical engineers had to take a bunch of programming classes with the computer engineers, so there is always that too. I think our project is probably the largest of all senior design projects.
Short update. It has begun.
We got the RPi's in, SD cards have the OS ready to rock. We have almost every component except for one (bought from Alibaba.. coming from China ). I'll try to update this with progress as we go and allow people to ask questions. If anyone wants to share any of their own projects feel free (I don't want to just talk to myself). I'll include pictures, etc.
I also write firmware for a very large cloud/IT/server company, so if there are questions related to that feel free as well.
A real update, for once.
Not really sure what my other teammates are doing but I went ahead and got started working on getting the GPS going. First thing I had to do was solder the pins onto the breakout board. We're using an Adafruit Ultimate GPS Breakout Board for this. Essentially it's a serial GPS that allows you to change some settings and get a little more fancy than most simpler serial GPS IC's. Anyways, I had never soldered anything like this before, so I was scared.. but since I have soldered electronics before it was a piece of cake. Once I got the pins soldered on, I threw it on a breadboard and wired it up. I didn't use the TX pin at all, I simply wired the Vin, Ground, and Rx pins to the RPi's 5v Pin, Ground Pin, and one of the serial UART pins. After wrestling with getting Screen installed, I was able to see GPS data output serially.
The next part was writing the code to not only take this data but also parse it into something human readable. In our case we're really only interested in the GPGGA string. It outputs 5 or so different strings but they aren't related to location which is what we're really after. We get this long string and I ended up parsing out the latitude, longitude, and altitude from that. I wrapped it in a main file and that was that. Here's some pics anyways of the before and after(I'll upload pics of the Rpi after if anyone is interested):
Are you having at least weekly meetings with your team? If there's one thing I learned from my team-based senior design project, it's that even guys with good credentials can be serious slackasses. Then again, I was one of those slackasses; I had a whole semester to design/build/test a circuit with 3 ICs and some mechanical transduction and finished soldering the final board the night before the demonstration to our sponsor company. Anyway, keep up the good work!
Last edited by Gauss; 02-27-2013 at 04:38 AM.
We have weekly meetings but right now everyone is being slackasses. It seems to be a common issue among every single team too haha.
I had a 4 person team, two of which were a couple that lived together and they decided to break up in the middle of the senior project. Needless to say, they were useless for most of the project and me and the other guy had to do almost everything and even the other guy more or less failed at his job (writing the code for the embedded processor) although not for lack of trying. The girl from the couple did get her shit together and build and test our modem during the last week or so of the project but the dumped guy never did anything. The morning of the senior project fair I was in the shower and it hit me that I had scaled the mapping software incorrectly and I almost fell over dead but then I thought, you know, this isn't a real fucking product, no one will ever catch this...and I was right. To this day it is in my buddy's closet and if you tried to use it, the maps would be scaled wrong and I don't give a shit.
This thread brings back memories. I wrote almost the same program you did to parse the GPS serial output. Of course mine was in C++ running under DOS since it was 1998 lol.
Not too far off heh, running C on Linux (Debian)
Just got the camera working.. absolute pain in the ass. Had to send commands to reset it and take pictures, then read in the data to a file. Had to do some other things to. Inexplicably when I Was connecting the Rx line of the camera it would power down the RPi, Not sure what was going on.
Thread got no love so haven't updated. Project is completed:
1x RPI (Officer side) has an android phone attached. User can send voice commands to the dog or certain functions (tazer, buzzer, etc). Phone displays video (slow, pictures not streaming video) as well as GPS information of the dog.
1x RPI(dog side). Has a camera, xbee pro, adafruit GPS, headphone out to the dog, tazer, buzzer (loud ringing to stop dog), treat compartment (opened by officer), microphone. Continually takes pictures and sends them back, receives voice commands as they are sent and plays them, outputs GPS signal always, accepts collar functions from phone.
I did all of the embedded work. We're making some videos later today and I'll post them on youtube if anyone is interested.
It was said that this project probably wouldn't have been finished, and generally I would've agreed but I went seriously hardcore and took over all embedded development. It was a pain in my ass and I never want to do it again
Nice, props for actually following through. I was skeptical, but it seems like you have implemented many things that you proposed.
Everything embedded + software related works. Electrical guys couldn't get their shit together and their two circuits (taser, treat collar) couldn't integrate with the board. They waited too long and had too little work, no real excuse. In the end I just said fuck it and made sure my stuff worked. Hopefully I'll have video soon so people can see it.
Impressive work for a senior design project. I think one of the things you are suppose to learn is that in every projeceam there are people who won't pull their weight. My design team had 5 people... 2 of us did all the work.
When I said it was too hard to do I was thinking of all custom electronics, not a Raspberry pi + Xbee to an android phone, but regardless, good work getting it done. It's really cool that there are computing platforms like that out there now that make it possible to do really complex stuff using off the shelf electronics. Congrats.
Well it was all custom electronics to a point. The android phone was just so an officer can communicate with a dog through his phone. GPS, Camera, etc were bought and then all logic/function was programmed by me.. unless you were thinking we were going to make our own GPS module or something
I meant building or breadboarding your own circuits yes. When you started you were talking about some sort of microprocessor or DSP as the controller. You did use a raspberry pi on the dog's end right? Were there any circuits designed or built by you? I'm talking about hardware not software.
We used a RPi on both ends actually, phone was connected through USB to one and then there was one on the dog. I didn't make any circuits but I basically built the entire system on both ends and did all the embedded program.
The only two real hardware circuits we had were the two electricals were tasked with making a taser and a treat compartment that would open if the signal was sent (reward). What really ended up happening was they waited until two days before it was due to tell us that the logic output voltage wasn't working and that we needed to do something else.
If I had known maybe.. oh, let's say anywhere between 1 to 19 weeks before that day I could've solved it. But at two days out, I told them it wasn't going to be included.
So to answer your question I didn't make any circuits. I wired and programmed the entire system though. Probably 70% of the project was me.
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