Hi! My name is Simona Tomar, and I will be working on Rova the Explorer with Xuexuan (Thomas) Peng for Fall 2021, alongside Dr Geroge Delagrammatikas

This project aims to create a land rover called ROVA that can identify, and avoid obstacles, as well as perform reinforced learning across various terrains.

My personal focus on this project will include:

  1. Jetson Nvidia Nano: Learning how to implement this microprocessor and use the Arduino Uno.
    1. Community Projects
      1. Jetbot (Github)
      2. Jetbot Road Following and Collision Avoidance
      3. Autonomous Robot Navigation with ROS
    2. Intro to Jetson Nvidia Nano with Paul McWhorter
  2. ROS (Robot Operating System): Learning how to use this software as well as integrate this within ROVA using python programming.
    1. Help from Yuhua Zhu‘sIntro to ROS
    2. Use of ROS website
      1. Introduction
      2. Installation
      3. Start Guide
      4. Tutorial
    3. Sample Project
  3. LiDAR Sensor Module: Understanding how this device works on its own as well as how to integrate it with ROS within ROVA.
    1. Use of LiDAR with ROS
    2. Use of LiDAR with ROS and Raspberry Pi
    3. Quick Start Guide and Project Ideas
  4. Omni-wheels: Learning control systems theory to understand, program (python) and implement the motion required by the omni-wheels for ROVA.
    1. Initial Source (includes Raspberry Pi)
  5. Prototyping and Testing: For initial testing, the Elegoo Robot Kit will be used and subsequent testing will be done on a newly constructed 3D chassis presented by Thomas on our project website, and his personal page.
Whilst Thomas manages the main content included on the website, I am the editor.

Initially, I constructed the Elegoo Robot Kit where I identified the pros and cons of the original kit. Whilst constructing the body; I was able to see that the original body of the kit was a great container for ROVA; however, it may need to be expanded due to the functionality of being self-contained as well as the implementation of the Jetson Nano microprocessor.

ROVA required a larger battery in order to power the Jetson Nano; we settled on a rechargeable battery pack with a 5V uninterrupted power supply.

Another problem we encountered was related to the Arduino sensor; as seen in the gif, once the robot approached an obstacle with an angle, it would collide so we decided to research other sensors. After researching, we resulted in implementing the LiDAR.

After collaborating on design ideas as shown below; we stated our final ideas and time-frame.

As Thomas worked on the designing and construction of ROVA’s exterior. I decided to learn how to use Jetson Nano with the use of ROS in C++.

From here, I wanted to create a simulation within ROS of ROVA to simulate how the collision avoidance path would behave and we were able to develop ROVA.