Do you ever have the feeling that something is following you?
So, I finally got some of my own code working in ROS tonight... that's no great accomplishment by most measures, but in my case, it's cause for celebration! Exciting stuff is just around the corner
As is always the case (for my projects), ambition has exceeded both ability and free time. So here I am, in the last week of the project, trying to defy those constraints...
In any case, there have been some minimal successes - I have a wagon (a Radio Flyer AWT, no less) which has been outfitted with two brushless motors (each with more power than is necessary) and a mechanism that almost-kinda-sorta should allow the wagon to steer (without using the handle). I will detail the challenges and shortcomings of my approach in a later installment (with images), but this should enable me to at least work on the firmware/software side of things and provide me a vehicle robust enough for initial testing.
Because of course, the control system will be built upon truly inspired hardware - a Raspberry Pi and an Arduino Uno. All jokes (which should be directed only at me) aside, both of these tools really are beyond my own technical prowess and are more than adequate for the task(s) at hand. I'm using a RPi 3 with Jessie, running ROS (see here: http://www.ros.org/about-ros/). At present, I am having all sorts of difficulties building the tools that ROS provides (no fault of the great folks working on it), but I expect that a breakthrough is just around the corner... As I've started to learn how ROS works, I'm more and more impressed with peoples' capacity to collaborate. Still, my limited understanding of the Linux OS (and the computer sciences in general) prevent this from being the "plug and play" type of system that I dream of.
More to come soon!