Sunday, February 27, 2005

well, what do you know?....

i think that's enough news for now :-p

Friday, February 04, 2005

Quick update

Things are rolling along well. We're getting the software finished up today and the hardware mounted into the car today and we'll be doing some testing on Sunday, with any luck the car will move around on it's own.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Sorry for the lack of updates

Due to the lack of time we're all getting accustomed to, we haven't really been able to blog updates very often. However, we have been updating documentation at . Please go there for more information.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Weekly Goals

Goals for this week, before we leave on break.
  • Figure out what we need to build our shanty in the barn
    • Wire
    • Plastic
  • Work on the Geo's braking
    • Greg has some ideas and hardware to improve the current setup
  • Get the packet of cars from eBay to Dr. Palmer by Wednesday
  • Chris is working on RS232 output for the Ethernut
  • Need to implement heartbeat between the Ethernut and computers
  • Tay is writing an abstraction interface
  • Matt almost has the remote contorller done

Monday, December 06, 2004

Monday meeting notes

Completed items from last week
  • Worked on I2c with the ethernut
  • Checked out OpenCV; Intel open source image analysis program
  • UI for visualizing GPS waypoints
  • Edge detection analysis program is working well
  • Working on making the mapping with WorldView
Other notes
We neede to decide on a vehicle before Wednesday of next week. Greg will get on finding some cheap Explorers (2003+) by then.

Goals for the week:
  • Research vision
  • Mailman
  • Parsing the RDDF file
Computer Engineering
  • Solidify design of the communication networ
  • Breakup pieces of design to give to other team members
Other goals
  • Send out the sponsorship thing on sponsorwise to other companies

Friday, December 03, 2004


At today's meeting we went over the stuff that Mark had prepared for submitting to Enterprise via We're going to pay the $50 to submit it, which allows us to submit our proposal to as many companies on sponsorwise as we want. We figure that we'll tailor it to the ones that we think apply (Ace Hardware, Gateway, Toyota, etc.) and then just blast a generic one to others.

Ken (MechE freshman) told us that he came up with some designs for hard disk shock mounting. He's going to work on it with Greg and at the team meeting.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Wednesday meeting

We discussed a few algorithms for long-range pathfinding and what sort of maps we might use. We don't want to delve too much into maps, but some simple topographical maps would be useful for avoiding cliffs before we even reach them.

We also discussed a bunch of sponsorship things, what we want to offer to potential sponsors, how mcuh we're looking to raise and such.


Our gallery is up again at and I'll move the old pictures over to it later this evening.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004


  • Mark-
    • email back from palmer about Dorschel we are going to make meeting
    • printed out information about Altera board
  • Greg
    • Talked about Dorschel research
    • Heating of the barn is taken care of
  • Tay
    • Camera research
    • Open CV – Microsoft
    • Contact Contental teevs about gps and environment sensors
  • Rhubarb
    • Going to talk to film department
  • Chris
    • Taking Final exam
  • Matt is joining us for co-op since phil is unable to do so

Monday, November 29, 2004

Overall TODO

-Shock mounting computer components: we're probably going to go with just hard drive mounting right now
-Under vehicle skid plate: needs to be easy to remove, will fabricate, find a way to mount
-Lift kit
-Gearshift: if it's not electionic, then we need to find a way to do it, particularly if it's column mounted
-Some redesign of the steering
-Braking actuation
-Power consumption
-Roll cage: external, run down A, B, C, D pillars
-Sensor brackets: universal, on roll cage

-Simulator needs to be finished up: Drew is in charge of it
-Networking: define what communication happens between four machines (Vision, Mailman/MCP/Tron, Vehicl health, Obstacles/Path)
-Algorithms and coding
-Solidify design, communiication between programs
-GPS by the end of the quarter; Nate might have some tips on this
-Tron program (sanity checking)
-Tay is finishing up some edge detection/analysis stuff for vision
-Use NASA's "Worldwind" which has topo maps of the world

-I2C sniffer: use the Ethernut to poll paralell and translate/rebroadcast to ethernet

Morning meeting

We've got a bunch of things to discuss, this being the first day of our co-op.

Phil isn't going to be co-oping with us, so we have an empty spot. We will offer this open spot to Matt Wyganowski (sp), including the housing funding.

Mark will talk with Watters about paying for our housing.

We need to all be sure to keep a schedule of approximately 8 hours a day, and at least 40 hours a week. Daily meetings will be at noon. After the meeting, each of us will be guranteed available until 3pm on campus or at the Liberty Hil location. We can be reached by cellphone.

Meeting room
It'd be great to have a meeting room, perhaps one of the SE or CS breakout rooms. Someon will go see the dean of CS to try to get one of those rooms.

We'd like to have a film student, or someone interested, to do an independent study making a documentary of what we're doing.

Blogs, Forum and Wiki
Each of us will write to an individual log, listing what we're doing each day. We'll use the G-CART blog for overall team stuff, meeting notes and such. The forum is the best place to discuss with the entire team, aside from weekly team meetings and the wiki is where we will post design decisions, and things that are being implemented. Note that the blog is public and the forum and wiki aren't.

Dorschel agreed to hear our presentation. We'll give make our pitch, and we can give him our sponsorship packet.

Nate's Cars
Nate has a number of friends who are happy to donate cars. We'd like to hold out for a Sequoia or Explorer, but we can't forever. Would it be OK to take donation, and if we get a Seqouia/Explorer later use Nate's car as a chase?
EDIT: Called Nate, he'll talk to his people about getting a car.

-SE/CS meeting room
-Meet with Hans at 2pm
-Film student (Rhubarb)
-Housing (Mark)
-Letter to Etlinger (Mark)
-Put Rhubarb on exec mailing list (Drew)

Other blogs

Greg and Tay made their blogs. Drew as well.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

gearing up on the software end...

Okay.. i've been runnin around (on the web... ) trying to tie together some loose ends on the software side of things.. looks like we're pretty much set to hit the ground running this winter. Things to do once we get back:
  • finish the simulator proxy.
  • finalize the overall design.
  • describe interfaces between the various modules.
  • allocate a team to set up a reliable network and data transfer protocol between computers.
  • webbify our overall design and post it (if it's me doing this part... i'm gonna use MS paint... )
  • set up a webcam and an interface somewhere so we have access to streaming video to test our imaging algorithms with.
Other things... to clarify from the get-go, we'll be using the metric system for our measurements.

I'll be sending an email out today to everyone on the software end to try and set up the initial meeting place and time.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004


After our meeting with Dr. Palmer and Dr. Water's stand-in today, we talked about having a group blog and here it is. You just have to create a blogger accoung ( then I can invite you to join our blog. It'd be nice if we could unify the some of the services that we have (perhaps we could use this blog and it's comments instead of the forum?), though they do all seem necessary. Do we still want a BugZilla thing as well?

As a result of our meeting, we may have a place to work at Liberty Hill. We need to call Hans Whit who will show us what is available. FMS may be able to provide tools as well.

G-CART Blog Inception

Welcome to the G-CART Blog! We will be using this to document the progress of G-CART.