Team WALRUS was working diligently over WPI’s holiday break, and is now in high gear for term 3! There have been a significant number of developments in all areas of the rover. WALRUS is almost completely ready for manufacturing! The chassis design is complete pending a final design review, including the internal electronics layout. An external rendering of WALRUS is shown below. The boom will be designed last as it is of lower priority and not too difficult to design and fabricate.
An internal view of the chassis is shown below. The plan is to get the chassis professionally welded and then sent out to be anodized. Manufacturing of the chassis will begin by the end of this week and go throughout the weekend in the WPI machine shops.
Internal views of WALRUS to show off its tight electronics layout are shown below. All major electrical components were made in CAD and exported into the model. These include all the custom PCBs, the Vicor power converter, Bullet Wi-fi, and main CPU. Alot of attention to detail was required for this layout to ensure we met all size constrains and proper heat sinking needs.
The actual PCBs were finished before the holiday break started and sent off for fabrication. EMT currently has the fabricated boards and is graciously populating the boards for us. We hope to obtain them early to mid next week! Below are 3 of the 7 boards designed. Top left is the SMBus isolation board which interfaces the batteries with the main internal sensor board (bottom left), and top right is the system diagnostics board which breaks out an LCD display and some push buttons.
The LCD display and buttons are shown in a rendering below. These will be useful for demos, trouble shooting, changing settings, etc. The embedded software for the custom hardware has also been under development. The goal is to have it completed for when the boards come in next week so we can do a plug and play test. As it looks right now, we should be making that deadline.
Lastly, more was done on the user interface. Below is a screenshot of the most up to date UI. It has camera view switching, the ROS diagnostics view, sensor data, and an improved layout.
That’s all for now – we will be keeping in touch on how manufacturing goes this week!
– Team WALRUS