With less than 3 weeks to go before our critical design review (CDR), we have been hard at work finishing the analysis and design of the WALRUS Rover. This includes the flipper and transmission FEA, tread design, internal layout and power distribution, final component selections for our DC-DC converters and main CPU, and the custom embedded PCBs. We would like to give a big THANK YOU to Vicor for their generous donations of two converter banks.
Alot of progress has been made on our custom hardware. Below are two pictures of board layouts that will be used in our boom system. The first is our main computing and motor control board, and the second is the environmental sensing board. The sensing board has four gas sensors, and a temperature/humidity sensor. While these are not fully complete, they should be done within the next few days after a design review is completed and the last few traces are routed. There is also an LED board that will be used on the boom which is near completion as well.
The other custom hardware system is our internal sensor and diagnostics system. There will be two boards in this system – one to interface sensors with our main CPU, and another to provide indicator peripherals for system diagnostics and states. The internal sensors will be used to monitor temperature, humidity, and water leakage. This board will also communicate with our batteries over the SMBus. The diagnostics board will have an LCD display, some push buttons to navigate the menus, and a few indicator LEDs. These two boards are in the schematic capture phase (shown below), but should be ready to layout soon.