beach testing results from 8-7-2009

August 12, 2009 - 8:53 pm 1 Comment

Our beach testing results from last friday went well. We had a fairly large crowd consisting mostly of friends and family. Baywatch decided to come over and see what kind of shenanigans we were doing. I asked if C.J. was working today, they said no. Oh well, next time.

The new sensors and algorithm for determining the level of regolith worked so-so. There is still room for improvement, and we will work on a solution to it. The vehicle now does not leak any material. (Which you may have noticed from previous videos). Greg’s ingenious folding teflon cloth worked beautiful. As a result, we were able to dump about 70kg as opossed to about 64.

We did have some problems with WANEM and packet loss, and aborted testing with the delay. For some reason the commands from the controllers only occassionally got through. We will have to investigate. The dropping of packets is curious because we are only sending very little data in that direction and we are using UDP.

Ken and Rob also got a chance to practice driving the vehicle. They are currently the backup drivers incase something catsotropic happens or someone wins the lottery. They picked up the gui interface surprizingly fast, and were doing circuits around the arena with relative ease. Except for that one time that Ken thought the vehicle was a crab and moved it across the arena drawing a large “W”.

With such a large crowd comes Murphy. When Murphy shows up, something is always bound to go wrong.  We had a slight mishap where Denny turned the wheels when they were touching the side of the arena. This unfortunately loosened the wheel, and it eventually failed to follow commands. No big deal, just a quick tightening of a nut and the BFD was ready for more action.

The following is a video showing the perspective of the drivers while operating the vehicle. What might not have been obvious from previous videos, is that the front two cameras are on servo’s and can rotate. You will also notice a point where the cameras seem very wavey. This is when the shaker is turned on to move the collected regolith.

One Response to “beach testing results from 8-7-2009”

  1. Paul Ventimiglia Says:

    Watching the 3 fish-eye lenses at once was very weird for my eyes!

    Excellent news about the leaking regolith, that would be a painful way to lose some kg’s.

    Our machine is starting to take shape, just changed around the website some, new pics to be added very soon.