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Vision-based emergency landing system for indoor drones (using FPGA)

At 4th semester of my bachelor at Aalborg University me and my project partner became a part of a new research project, UAWorld (DRONER RYKKER INDENDØRS MED DANSK TEKNOLOGI). A project aiming for developing a new infrastructure and a set of drones capable of being used in indoor industrial environments with dynamically changing obstacles (and layout) and human beings likely to walk around. The drones within the project is intended to carry assembly line goods around an assembly line hall into a warehouse where it will be autonomously offloaded.

UAWorld usecase

UAWorld usecase

The main research group within the project had already taken several decisions regarding the drone typology, which indoor positioning system to use and which wireless communication to use. But being dependent on these systems (positioning and wireless link) to reliably navigate a mission critical environment, making sure that the drone would never drop the goods or crash into human beings even at emergency situations, is just as an important task as making the quadcopter navigate safely.

For download links to the report and source code, please scroll to the bottom of the post. Further videos of the project undergoing development can also be found in the bottom of the post.
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Software Defined Radio with USRP N200 and LabVIEW (GUIDE)

As a part of my electronic engineering degree I have decided to look into the world of Software Defined Radios, a complicated but very powerful tool.

Software Defined Radios, SDR in short, is in short a software-based radio platform, making it possible to program the RF transmissions schemes and updating them on the fly if necessary, a bit similar to what we in the digital world know as FPGA’s. This allows end-products to redefine their radio needs, such as when sending a satellite into orbit where it would be impossible to update the RF hardware platform to support other radio protocol and schemes.

USRP N200 module

USRP N200 module


To get familiar with the SDR’s I decided to work with a basic USRP N200 module which is supported by LabVIEW and other tools, eg. GNU Radio, and write a detailed report about my progress and discoveries (see the bottom of the post for a link to the report).
The N200 module is controlled over an Ethernet interface, which is also used to exchange (transmit and receive) the so called IQ samples when they have been converted by the analog RF frontend.

In the video below I demonstrate the use of a Software-Defined radio setup with two USRP N200 modules programmed in LabVIEW programmed with an AM modulation and demodulation scheme.
The modules are programmed and tested thru LabVIEW where a graphical interface allows me to transmit a single tone signals or an audio-file from one SDR unit to another for.


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Handheld XV-11 LIDAR with STM32F429 and MATLAB

The XV-11 LIDAR unit

The XV-11 LIDAR unit

To make our robots even more autonomous we would like to investigate the world of Laser range finding using LIDAR technology. Unfortunately for the users who want to try out LIDAR it’s a very expensive technology to get your hands on.

Throughout the years though Vacuum Clearner robots have evolved a lot, both in the algorithms gettings better but also in the use of more advanced sensors. Lately the Neato XV-11 All Floor Robotic Vacuum System included a small range (0.2m to 6m) LIDAR with 1 degree precision and a resolution of a couple of centimeters. As this vacuum cleaner only costs around $400 makes it a bargain to get hold of a LIDAR if just you could disassemble the robot and use just the LIDAR.

Luckily for us there was put up a bounty for people “hacking” the XV-11 LIDAR and a new hacking community had begun: http://xv11hacking.wikispaces.com/LIDAR+Sensor
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Categories: ARM, STM32 Tags:

IoT featured soccer table

IoT table from top

IoT table from top

Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the big electronics subjects throughout the world this year.

To show the capabilities of custom IoT devices and to help a local LAN-event organisation, TheBlast, we offered the help to create an Internet enabled soccer table.
Thanks to generous donation by Tuborg Fonden we were able to buy a brand new soccer table for us to modify.

We modified the table by adding two touch displays for user interaction, a barcode scanner for user registration. Inside the table we installed two score detection IR sensors and a ball release system, made by using a motor/wheel from an old Roomba robot. Finally we installed 5 meter of RGB LED strip to light up the playfield.

When scores is detected they are immediately registered online, to be displayed on the LAN-event website, where score timetable and all previous matches can be found.
This post will describe the features of the final table and how it was developed.


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Categories: ARM, STM32 Tags: , , , , , ,

USB Host Shield Mini in webshop

After some great success with the USB Host shield development and the sales of the USB Host shield for Arduino thru our webshop, we are happy to announce that we have also started carrying the compact version of the shield, the USB Host Shield for Arduino Pro Mini.

USB Host Shield for Arduino Pro Mini

USB Host Shield for Arduino Pro Mini

The shield is just a compact version of the well known USB Host shield for Arduino’s and it makes you able to add the USB Host functionality such as Bluetooth control with PS3, Wii or your Android phone, to any Arduino Pro Mini equipped projects. Please note that your Arduino Pro Mini must be running 3.3V though!

We will be selling the mini shield at an introductory price of $20.00 USD and it can be bought including pre-cut headers for stacking.

Visit our webshop for more information: http://shop.tkjelectronics.dk/product_info.php?cPath=22&products_id=45

Categories: Arduino, News, USB Tags:

STM32 Nucleo – a new mbed platform

A lot of you probably both know the STM32 devices maybe even from our blog as we tend to use it a lot. You probably also know the mbed board that started as an NXP LPC1768 equipped microprocessor development DIP-like module.

Now ST Microelectronics has decided to join the adventure of the mbed world by making their own mbed development board series and adding support for 4 different STM32 devices in the mbed online compiler environment!

STM32 Nucleo

STM32 Nucleo

Read more at here:

Categories: ARM, Development boards, News, STM32 Tags:

New contributor at TKJ Electronics – Diego

We are happy to announce a new contributor and hopefully soon consultant at TKJ Electronics, Diego Ayala.
I have been in touch with Diego for quite a while and we have been talking about his experience with the STM32 family and other ARM M0, M1 and M4 cores together with the Keil and CooCox IDE’s. So an experience like his is really usefull for ARM embedded projects.

To display some of his work we decided to go thru one of his recent projects, a color tracking device running on the STM32F103. A project that really displays what the ARM Cortex-M3 device is capable of doing, as long as you optimize well enough.


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Categories: ARM, TKJ Electronics Tags:

Color object tracking with STM32 + OV7725

Abstract
DEVELOPMENT OF AN EMBEDDED SYSTEM FOR TARGETING A COLOR OBJECT USING A VIDEO CAMERA INTEGRATED TO A MICROCONTROLLER
This project uses STM32F103 microcontroller to track an object, it gets the image from an OV7725 camera + FIFO, it is configured as rgb565 QVGA(320×240).
In the touchscreen the target object can be selected, its color defines the thereshold to binarize an image. After the segmentation is done an algorithm recognizes the contour of the image and its center, once located a PI controller moves 2 servos (pan, tilt) in order to target the objective.
A video of the system doing real-time tracking can be seen in the bottom of the post. The source code and Keil project for the STM32F103VCT device can be downloaded here: Image_Processing.zip
Front

Objective
Designing an embedded system in a microprocessor for detection and targeting a colored object, without the need for externally processing system (PC)
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Year 2013 for Thomas

thomasIt has been quite a while ago since my last post here at the Blog which is due to a lot of new things and changes that happened in the past year. So with the following post I would like to tell a bit about myself and why I haven’t been writing post so frequently.

“Who am I?”

Most of you probably don’t know a lot about either me or Kristian, but I thought it would be the right time now to give a better introduction about me and myself. I have mainly been keeping these details about myself private, due to my age and the difficulty in freelance work and consultancy when being a newly started company and now with an age of only 20 years.

“My name is Thomas Kølbæk Jespersen. I’m 20 years old and a keen electronics enthusiast, entrepreneur, R&D ‘engineer’ and now being a student at Aalborg University studying Electronics Engineering.”

A lot of things happened for me and my company TKJ Electronics in the past year, which are but not limited to:

  1. Gap year
  2. Sales manager for solar panels
  3. Balanduino project
  4. Travel adventure
  5. Moving to Aalborg
  6. Aalborg University
  7. Employment at Create It Real
  8. General TKJ Electronics consultancy

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Balanduino – Balancing Robot Kit (Kickstarter)

Hello all fellow blog readers.
Most of you might be aware of the Balancing robot project we have been working on for quite a while, if not please have a look here: The Balancing Robot.

We have now been working on this project in over a year, fine tuning the balance and stability of the robot and adding even other features and control options.

And NOW we are ready to announce this Balancing robot to be sold as a kit, named Balanduino.

The Balanduino

The Balanduino


The Balanduino kit consists of an Arduino compatible main board with the necessary sensors to keep the robot balanced automatically.

Furthermore the main board contains a USB Host controller, the MAX3421E, which library for the Arduino we have been expanding a lot recently, adding support for many of the most popular game controllers.
This USB Host controller together with a USB Bluetooth dongle enabled you to remotely control the Balanduino with your Android phone, PS3, Wii or Xbox controller and even your Windows, Linux or Mac PC.
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Categories: Arduino, Balanduino, Bluetooth Tags: