Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Special Thanks to Dr. Janna Rosales

Above: Dr. Rosales speaking at Ted Talk

"Special Thanks to Dr. Janna Rosales for allocating time from her tightly scheduled engineering ethics class to allow the MUN Sailbot Team to speak about recruitment on Wednesday and Thursday of this week."  

Friday, 26 October 2012

Like this...But smaller!!

The design for the next generation of MUN SailBOT racing machine is underway.  Though the team is spread across the country, we are laying the groundwork for the new vessel. The vessel will be a trimaran with a articulating wing sail designed to go really, really fast! We will be working with Rhino for the 3-D  modeling, CAD for the general arrangement and GHS or Maxsurf for the hydrostatics.  Over the next few months we will spiral in on a final design, and -with our fingers crossed - pull the carbon fiber hull next semester. More design posts to come!

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

On processors

Raspberry pi Alamode

Our current electronics setup is run using a Real Time Operating System from UVic running on an ATMEGA 1280. Drivers have been written - the system works - but is rather heavily taxed by the number of things which it must do. We would like to do path planning, more sensor processing and more intelligent decision making. To that end we've been discussing the use of a more powerful processor to add the higher level of control which is the next step in our development. We chose the well maintained Arduino platform for it's ease of use, its flexibility, the soundness of hardware and most importantly the community which surrounds it. The Raspberry Pi is now a hit in the hobbyist community which sports a powerful ARM processor, a bunch of IO, several projects which  integrate it with our current processor and a low cost. So as mentioned in the previous post we've purchased a couple to try them out.

Check back for updates.


Wednesday, 10 October 2012

The New CPU

The new cpu of the new boat has been ordered!!!! The Raspberry Pi shown above is a Linux based micro-controller that is more computer than micro-controller. This cpu contains an ARM-1176JZFS processor with floating point, running at 700Mhz, and a Videocore 4 GPU. The GPU is capable of BluRay quality playback, using H.264 at 40MBits/s. It has a fast 3D core accessed using the supplied OpenGL ES2.0 and OpenVG libraries....TRANSLATION FOR NON-COMPUTER PEOPLE.... WE BOUGHT A WEAPON OF A COMPUTER BRAIN FOR UNDER $40!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, that's right under $40!

Click here for more information.

Special Thanks to ...

We thank Notus Electronics Ltd. for sponsoring us at the Top Sail Level! We are proud to be sponsored by such a leader in Marine Sensor technology. The company has given both in-kind donations and money towards the new boat, which is greatly appreciated by all members of the team.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

On blogging

Big news. Sweeping changes have overtaken the site: we have updated the favicon and header. In all seriousness though, I'd like to highlight how pleasant of an experience shifting to Blogger has been. Whereas a site update once included editing code it's now a simple login, swap and save - I could do it from my phone. I highly recommend this format for those who keep blogs or small scale personal websites.

For those who require a little more control, are afraid of storing their info here, relying on a free service or just want to use something a little more open I would suggest the open source Wordpress package, available at http://wordpress.org/download/. Installed and configured in minutes it's a fast way to get a professional quality blog started.