Robotics, Part II 

In addition to my experimental hobby robots, I am also involved in more serious robotics projects. Regrettably many of these are subject to non-disclosure agreements, and so I cannot delve into many of my most fascinating projects, but some are opensource or at least not considered confidential. Below are a few such projects.

The NOMAD Project:  An open source, remotely operated robotic system for use in remote locations without power or internet connection. Originally being developed by some friends of mine at the now defunct Victus Robotics, I was brought in as a consultant to aid in the design. When the company closed down, I retained the designs and prototypes in lieu of payment. (More details)

iGnat:  An ongoing project which resulted from a challenged issued a few years ago - a challenge to build the smallest possible robot which could move, take photographs, and transmit them to a base station wirelessly. So far the best I have done is a small Atmel microprocessor connected to two piezo electric oscillators for movement (with limited control) and an old CCD chip from a digital camera for imaging (unfortunately though I messed up the camera lens, so the prototype will need glasses). The wireless transmitter is a bit bulky due to the requirements for the antenna, but I am working on further reducing that as well. I am confident though that the entire bot can be reduced by an order of magnitude in size, if I can just fine a company to provide custom integrated circuit lithography... (and of course raise the huge sums of money required to actually build the prototype).

Remote Arduino Project:  This is a project I started in 2013 to meet a need of some friends of mine to be able to remotely monitor some real estate that had no electricity or WiFi available. It is difficult to get to, and so they wanted something that could send them security photos and other basic information. My idea was to adapt an Arduino board to run on a Li-Ion battery and a solar recharger, with a GPRS shield that could connect to the cell phone network. As of November 2013, it is still a work in progress as the carrier I was testing it with has limited the amount of data that can be sent from a home-built system (or in other terms, my shield and their main network don't seem to mesh well). I am considering switching the Arduino for a Raspberry Pi, as it has more processing power and yet seems to run more efficiently off of the solar charger that I am using.


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