Our battery cells arrived today! In addition, we have our BMS and wiring harnesses. All we are waiting for is our contactors and we will be ready to untether AERO.
Today, we made our wood block, orange PVC pipe, and pre-cached samples. We will be able to test our vision algorithms with these samples. The red hockey puck and pink tennis ball are unaltered, but because of their distinctive shapes and colors, we should be able to accurately locate and identify them.
A few days ago, we got a surprise in the lab. Our Nvidia Tesla K20 showed up about 10 days earlier than we expected. We mounted it in the computer and installed the Nvidia CUDA toolkit. Running the bandwidth test application in the toolkit showed we are averaging around 6 GB/s transfers between the processors and the Tesla.
After a quick pressure test with a bicycle pump and changing a fitting that wouldn’t seal well, we filled the water cooling system. The system took around 700 ml of coolant, more than expected, but much of that is probably in the radiator. After fighting with the BIOS on the server motherboard, we got Ubuntu 12.04 installed. The processors idle at around 37° C, and running mprime on 30 threads leads to ~50° C, so the water cooling appears to be working well. These values should get better on the actual robot since airflow through the radiator will be better.
The computer is almost ready! See more pictures below of the process of putting everything together.
The computer will temporarily be housed in the 4U server chassis, while we work on making a top plate for the Husky. Who knew that a 4U server chassis is significantly cheaper (and significantly bigger) than a full size ATX case?