E=MC Squirreled

FTC Team #4508

> Contacting Experts

Wanting to increase our knowledge and skills, we connected with several individuals considered experts in their fields

Venkatesh "C.D." Chaya

CD is a software engineer at Intel. He has had lots of experience with incorporating a form of sensor usage called PID (proportional -- integral -- derivative). It's a method of using the values from sensors that help robots move in a very smooth and fluid motion. We found information as to what the method is and how it works, but we needed help integrating it into our autonomous mode. Our intention is to enable the robot to move in a very precise and repeatable manner, but to also handle unexpected bumps along the way. CD has graciously offered his time to mentor our team in this regard. We plan on implementing his recommendations into our autonomous program in the coming weeks.

Dale Jordan

We tried to push the computing boundaries this year by experimenting with the Raspberry Pi. This device is a full computer on a board that fits anywhere and can be run on AA batteries. We figured out how to connect it to the NXT through the prototype board, as well as how to communicate between the Pi and the NXT.

The area where we had trouble was regarding how to power the device. We were able to find a way to supply the required voltage, or the required amperage, but not both. We contacted Dale Jordan because of his expertise in electronics and sensors, especially in how it relates to robotics. After explaining what we wanted to accomplish, the power requirements of the Pi, and the power restrictions from the NXT, Dale was able to work with us to brainstorm ideas for providing the needed power. Unfortunately, the NXT simply doesn't provide the needed power to run the Raspberry Pi. Dale has suggest an innovative way to pull the power from multiple ports on the NXT. We are currently in the process of researching the electronics needed to successfully connect the Pi to the NXT.