Chris Jang writes, "I've been building an autonomous ground robot for
the last year. It's not like most of the amateur
robots seen on the web. It's somewhat larger than usual and has two single
board computers running Linux off compact flash. My hope is that this
project is both useful and entertaining. I think I've
made many mistakes of a first time robot builder. Others may be able to
avoid these pitfalls as the historical documentation of the project is
relatively detailed." Like many robot builders, Chris was inspired
by the DARPA Grand Challenge. Jang's four-wheeled
robot is 3 feet long and weighs about 40 lbs. In addition to an AVR
microcontroller, it also sports two Geode-based Soekris Net 4801 SBCs.
For more details see the full list of specifications or the amazingly
detailed build log
which documents his year of work and includes many additional photos.
That's fairly impressive stuff, mainly because everything's documented
and there are lots of pictures (check out the change log). I noticed the
robot has a Belkin WiFi wireless router/access point on it (the white
box on top in the later pics). I just bought one the same for my home
network but I hadn't considered putting it on a robot before... it seems
like a good solution if the robot has more than one PC on board but you
don't want to put a wireless card in both - as the belkin box has a
network switch built in.
This article is what prompted me to join up, as it is very similar to
mine in a lot of ways - More people ought to get their DIY projects
like this 'out there'. Funded stuff is great to read about, but
difficult to associate with.
I wonder how the builder of this one answers the One Question That
'So... what does it Do ?'
My standard answer is: 'I have absolutely no idea, but watch your
I even see the same lathe and mill that I use lurking around - I wonder
if he's hit himself in the head with the chuck key yet ?