Showing posts from November, 2018

Deep Racer - A first look

Today, Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced the AWS "Deep Racer" at it's annual re:Invent conference in Las Vegas.  I was fortunate enough to get hold of one of the first batch of production units, and since most of you will not yet have seen one I thought I would give you a run down, as well as my first impressions. What is it? Deep Racer is a 1/18th scale AWD buggy with a cute body shape finished in back and silver-grey.  The body shape is quite interesting, but we'll come back to that later.  The chassis appears similar in design and components to many other low-cost remote control buggies You're no doubt interested in what's inside.  There is a single-board controller carrying an Intel Atom processor, 4GB RAM, 32GB Storage 802.11ac WiFi, a 1080p camera and battery packs.  It can also be used as a remote control vehicle through an app. (updated November 29) The controller board looks a lot like an Up Board, but I can't confirm this witho

Auric - The Software Side

Auric is a combination of hardware and software. Last time we looked at the hardware required, and in this installment we will consider the software components. Like my previous self-driving car, there are two controllers in Auric.  The main processor and the motion control processor. Let's start with Motion Control because it is much simpler.   Motion Control is based on a NodeMCU (v1.0) and an associated L293D H-Bridge driver.  The software loop monitors the incoming serial port for a character stream from the main controller. This character stream is in the form of 'channel:value' .  These channel IDs are a single ASCII character (case-insensitive), and the value data is dependent on the channel.  For example R:512 is interpreted as Right Motor with a value of 512. It is the responsibility of the channel code to act and generate a response to the main processor. The main processor, a FriendlyARM NanoPC-T4 is primarily tasked with navigation, as well as edg