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Category: rover project

First Autonomous Open Water Test with the Aquacraft Wildcat

First Autonomous Open Water Test with the Aquacraft Wildcat

  Took the boat out to the lake for its first open water autonomous test.  It worked well.  The turning rate happened to be perfect for the (nearly) slowest speed it can go.  It navigated three GPS points, one lap across the cove and back. The existing lid to the boat doesn’t fit with an Arduino Uno plus servo shield sitting on top so I ran it without a lid.  After the first a lap I brought it in to…

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Open Water Test Results – 1/20/18

Open Water Test Results – 1/20/18

Today I took AquaBitsTwo out for its second test in open water.  These are the results, notes, and lessons I learned… Wind.  I was unaffected by this during the first test and didn’t need to deal with it.  Today there was some wind.  Not very much, just a few miles per hour.  But my motor mount and rudder acted like sails and the boat wanted to align with the wind.  Boat bottom is flat.  I guess that’s what fins and…

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Project Update: AquaBitsTwo

Project Update: AquaBitsTwo

After the lessons learned building and launching AquaBitsOne, I’ve begun to scope out ideas for the next version, hereby named AquaBitsTwo.  Rather than custom build something out of foam or wood, I ended up deciding to just try out a body board.  Found this at Leslie’s Pool Supply:  a Big Lizard 24/26 Inch Small.   It was only nine dollars. Size comparison photo shows it’s a near identical replacement. Except that it will lack one critical flaw of the previous…

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Lessons on the First Open Water Test

Lessons on the First Open Water Test

Just returned from Lake Berryessa for my first ever autonomous boat test on open water.  Some notes so I don’t forget the lessons learned. I managed to get three test runs in for trimming and adjusting the turn rates.  Unfortunately,  it turned out the boat leaks and that was all I could do.  I did test it in a tub and in a creek, but I should have let it soak for a long time to determine if any issues…

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Lessons Learned Making My First Boat

Lessons Learned Making My First Boat

Just got the boat on the water for the first time and I wanted to jot down my thoughts while they’re still fresh.  This was the first time I’ve ever made a boat, or an RC model of any kind.   When I realized I could make them from Dollar Store foam and hot glue I was very impressed and happy to do so since I could get on the water for free, essentially.  As the build progressed though, I started…

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How to Arm E-Flight ESC with Arduino and without Guessing

How to Arm E-Flight ESC with Arduino and without Guessing

If you read one of my first posts here at remotebits.com, on arming an ESC, I happened up the solution by accident.  Today I wanted to try to arm an RC airplane ESC and it occurred to me that I didn’t have to guess how to do it. Disclaimer: use this information at your own risk.  I am not responsible for any damage. A more elegant solution was to read the PWM values first while turning on the transceiver and…

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BitZero Upgraded with Servo Shield and GPS

BitZero Upgraded with Servo Shield and GPS

In my last BitZero update, I installed a GPS module and began having a problem where the servos seemed to be glitching every second or so.  This turned out to be a resource contention.   The GPS module communicates to Arduino with interrupts, and this was disrupting the PWM pins from sending proper signal to the servos.  The solution turned out to be using the Adafruit Servo Shield.  The PWM processing is offloaded to the shield and can continue to run…

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Bold Robot Nearly Escapes

Bold Robot Nearly Escapes

Close call today, folks.  Almost lost BitZero.  It’s amazing what a software bug can mean.  Life or death, really.  So I was doing some testing at the local playground.  I had coded in three GPS points, and let the robot go.  Around the park it went.  To all of it’s designated points.  It reached the third and final waypoint, and was supposed to shutdown.  But it suddenly turned eastward, slightly south, and kept on truckin’.  Really going for it too. …

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Announcing: Project BitZero

Announcing: Project BitZero

What is Project BitZero? I’m glad you asked. It’s the beginning of this journey to document all of my side projects.  And the first project is a prototype for small scale autonomous vehicles.  Being the first project, and being a software development blog, counting begins with zero. Each Bit will be a part of this blog, which is of course,  also a play on words for site’s theme: computer programming.  I will also cover many topics on wireless tech.  That’s…

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How to Calculate Compass Heading from GPS Points

How to Calculate Compass Heading from GPS Points

So you’re building a robot with an Arduino, GPS, a compass and you want it to know which direction to turn so it goes to a waypoint?  Me too!   Here is my demo sketch on how to calculate the waypoint heading.   It amounts to using the atan2 function to calculate the angle between two points, converting the angle to degrees, then normalizing it to a compass reading. The below values are hardcoded. You can run the sketch yourself to test…

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