Asee peer logo

A Low-Cost Robot Positioning System for a First-Year Engineering Cornerstone Design Project

Download Paper |

Conference

2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016

ISBN

978-0-692-68565-5

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Innovative Teaching

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

13

DOI

10.18260/p.26355

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/26355

Download Count

51

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

David J. Frank The Ohio State University

visit author page

David J. Frank is a 3rd year Computer Engineering honors student at The Ohio State University and an Undergraduate Teaching Assistant for the Fundamentals of Engineering for Honors program. He will graduate with his B.S.E.C.E in May 2017, and is expected to graduate with his M.S.E.C.E in May 2018.

visit author page

biography

Kevin J. Witt The Ohio State University

visit author page

Kevin Witt received his BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from The Ohio State University in 2014. He is currently pursuing his MS in the same field and is set to graduate in 2016. His specialization is in computer and circuits, and he is the lead electronics developer for the First Year Honors Engineering Program in the College of Engineering at OSU. He has been with the program since 2012.

visit author page

biography

Chris Hartle

visit author page

Chris Hartle graduated from The Ohio State University with a bachelors degree in 2014 and a Master's degree in 2015, both in Electrical & Computer Engineering. Chris worked as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for the Fundsmentals of Engineering for Honors program at Ohio State. His work includes embedded systems development.

visit author page

biography

Jacob J. Enders The Ohio State University

visit author page

Jacob J. Enders is a Biomedical Engineering honors student at The Ohio State University and an Undergraduate Teaching Assistant for the Fundamentals of Engineering for Honors program. He is a member of the Eminence Fellows scholarship program and is a research assistant studying cancer cell migration and metastasis using DNA force sensors. He will graduate with his B.S.B.M.E. in May 2018.

visit author page

biography

Veronica Beiring The Ohio State University

visit author page

Veronica M. Beiring is an Electrical Engineering student at The Ohio State University and an Undergraduate Teaching Assistant for the OSU Fundamentals of Engineering for Honors (FEH) Program.

visit author page

biography

Richard J. Freuler The Ohio State University

visit author page

Richard J. Freuler is the Director for the Fundamentals of Engineering for Honors (FEH) Program in the OSU Department of Engineering Education. He teaches the two-semester FEH engineering course sequence and is active in engineering education research. He is also a Professor of Practice in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department and conducts scale model investigations of gas turbine installations for jet engine test cells and for marine and industrial applications of gas turbines at the Aerospace Research Center at Ohio State. Dr. Freuler earned his Bachelor of Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering (1974), his B.S. in Computer and Information Science (1974), his M.S. in Aeronautical Engineering (1974), and his Ph.D. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering (1991) all from The Ohio State University.

visit author page

Download Paper |

Abstract

A Low-Cost Robot Positioning System for a First-Year Engineering Cornerstone Design Project

Abstract

Researchers in autonomous robotic design have leveraged a variety of technologies to simulate the Global Positioning System (GPS) on a smaller laboratory or commercial scale. In the interest of cost and accuracy, a system was developed for [the University's] First-Year Honors Engineering Program's "cornerstone" design project. This “Robot Positioning System” (or RPS) utilizes high definition consumer web cameras to accurately simulate GPS for the autonomous robots created by students.

For the past 22 years the Fundamentals of Engineering for Honors program at [the University] has provided a long duration "cornerstone" design project for first-year engineering students as a major component in the final course of a two course sequence. In this course, teams of students compete in a robot design competition, designing a fully-autonomous robot around a given microcontroller and within specified size and budget. The robots are tasked with completing several objectives or tasks on a 98 square foot course within a two-minute time period.

High definition Logitech C920 webcams were chosen for the project based on their popularity, availability, and operating resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels at a rate of 30 frames per second. Additionally, the cameras had a wide viewing angle which allowed them to be mounted 6 feet above each course. This provided sufficient coverage of each course and gave positional information to within a quarter of an inch and within one degree. The system detected micro QR codes, which were printed on three inch squares and mounted on each student's robot. The micro QR code data contained the name designation of each team.

The cameras were controlled by a National Instruments LabVIEW application. Via user interface, three specific locations were selected on each course to calibrate the coordinate systems and to account for any rotation with respect to the camera. Based on the calibrated coordinate system, the detected location and orientation was transmitted over radio frequency via XBee protocol to each robot. Information relating to the progress of each robot in completing course tasks was overlaid with this positional information onto a live video feed of each course. These feeds were displayed in sets of four in a global user interface for a large-scale, real-time visual representation of each competition round for viewing by observers during final competition.

The use of simulated GPS in the "cornerstone" design course gives the students the advantage of working with real world concepts. The system introduced students to designing programs that interact with external systems in real time. It also introduced students to navigation without physical interaction with obstacles. This added to the variety of tool available to students for navigation which facilitated discussion between students on best design strategies. It also gave the advantage of allowing students to design software that acts based on inputs from a variety of sources and seamlessly transition between them.

In this paper, we will discuss the components that are a part of this positioning system, including the HD cameras, the radio frequency transmission of information, and the multi-language software set used to determine the position and orientation of student-built robots.

Frank, D. J., & Witt, K. J., & Hartle, C., & Enders, J. J., & Beiring, V., & Freuler, R. J. (2016, June), A Low-Cost Robot Positioning System for a First-Year Engineering Cornerstone Design Project Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26355

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2016 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015