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Reference Material

  • Recommended Books and Magazines
    • General Robotics Books
    • Electronics and Sensors Books
    • Behaviour and Navigation Books
    • PIC Microcontroller Books

    This list of recommended books, magazines, and other hardcopy reference materials is a good starting place for your robotics project. I have used or know someone who has used all of the items listed, and I can recommend them with confidence.


  • Part Suppliers
    • Ottawa Retail Parts Suppliers
    • Ontario Surplus Parts Suppliers
    • Mail Order & Web Parts Suppliers

    This collection of parts suppliers is a good place to start when looking for motors, microprocessors, electronic components, or other devices related to robotics.


  • Web Links and Other References
    • Robot-Related Frequently-Asked-Questions (FAQs)
    • Robotics Resource Lists (more links!)
    • Other and Previous Competitions
    • Robotics University Programs
    • Clubs, Groups and Projects
    • Suppliers and Parts
    • Magazines
    • PIC Microprocessors
    • MIT HandyBoard

    This collection of web links and comments is excellent reading material for technical reference, design ideas, or as inspirational material.


  • Recommended Papers and Publications
    • Rodney Brooks, MIT (subsumption architecture behaviour)
    • Fred Martin, MIT (students and robot design, etc)

    This collection of papers and technical articles is a good place to start when considering building small mobile robots.



Report and Presentation Information

  • Reports and your Fourth-Year Design Project

    The fourth-year design course is a major project in engineering analysis, design, development and research carried out by small teams of students. A project proposal, several interim reports, an oral presentation, a technical demonstration, and a comprehensive final report are required.


  • Preparing a Fourth-Year Design Project Proposal
    • Understanding the Purpose of your Proposal;
    • Writing a Convincing and Persuasive Proposal;
    • Small Team Strategies for the Project Proposal;
    • Components of the Project Proposal; and
    • Miscellaneous Advice for your Oral Presentation.

    The project proposal is the first written requirement of the fourth-year design project. This proposal must outline what you're planning on doing, how you're planning to do it, and why you're doing it. This report should be written so that it can be understood by non-engineering types, such as a non-technical manager or supervisor.


  • Preparing a Fourth-Year Design Project Progress Report
    • Understanding the Purpose of your Report;
    • Guidelines for Writing the Progress Report;
    • Components of the Progress Report; and
    • Miscellaneous Advice for your Progress Report.

    The progress report is the second written requirement of the fourth-year design project. This report should make reference to your proposal, show clearly how much progress has been made, make a prediction as to how the rest of the project is likely to develop, and state any variation from the project proposal that now seems necessary.


  • Preparing a Fourth-Year Design Project Oral Presentation
    • Logistics of Carleton Engineering's Oral Presentations;
    • The Style of your Oral Presentation;
    • Preparing for your Oral Presentation;
    • Small Team Strategies for your Oral Presentation;
    • The Structure of your Oral Presentation;
    • Reviewing for your Oral Presentation;
    • Delivering your Oral Presentation; and
    • Miscellaneous Advice for your Oral Presentation.

    The oral presentation component of the fourth-year design project is often underestimated and poorly implemented. This collection of presentation advice, coupled with proven strategies for success, will help you deliver a perfect presentation.


  • Preparing a Fourth-Year Design Project Final Report
    • Foreword and Credits;
    • Logistics of the Fourth-Year Project Final Report;
    • An Overview of the Final Report;
    • Preparing to Write the Final Report;
    • Drafting the Final Report;
    • Formatting the Final Report;
    • The Style of the Final Report;
      • Clarity, Conciseness, Continuity, and Objectivity;
      • Writing Style; and
      • Data Presentation.
    • Components of the Final Report;
      • Letter of Transmittal;
      • Cover, Label, and Title Page;
      • Executive Summary;
      • Acknowledgements;
      • Table of Contents;
      • Glossary;
      • List of Tables;
      • List of Figures;
      • Introduction;
      • Main Body of Report: (suggested)
        • Objective;
        • Motivation;
        • Theory; and
        • Details.
      • Conclusions;
      • Recommendations;
      • References; and
      • Appendices.
    • Revising the Final Report; and
    • Further Information About Engineering Reports.

    The final report is the most important component of the fourth-year design project. The quality of your work will be judged by your report, so you should put a great deal of effort into writing, revising, and re-writing. This report is worth 60% in a heavily weighted full-credit course - and you should treat it as such.


  • Final Report Suggestions

    Based on the notes I used when grading final reports from the '99/'00 project, RoboTag, I've compiled a list of suggestions that you should thoroughly read and understand before you submit your final report.



Technical Information

  • Supplied Equipment
    • Supplied Equipment; and
    • Other Equipment.

    The following equipment will be provided to each of the groups for their robots. Additional equipment is specified, but will not be purchased for the groups.


  • Datasheets

    A collection of relevent datasheets and application notes is a must for designing any complex interaction between discrete components.


  • Using the MicroChip PIC Microcontroller
    • PIC Basics;
    • Developing your Code;
    • MPASM Code Examples;
    • Serial PIC Programming;
    • Running your Programmed PIC; and
    • PIC Links.

    The PIC is a small 8-bit microcontroller designed primarily for fast input/output control using a small instruction set. The PIC is low-cost (~$15), can be developed for free (free IDE, including simulator), and can be reprogrammed thousands of times (Flash EEPROM - no UV eraser required) from a cheap programmer (~$25).


  • Building an Infrared Robot Beacon
    • Introduction and Design Objectives;
    • Infrared Light & Associated Problems;
    • The Technical Specification;
    • An Example Solution; and
    • Miscellaneous Advice and Recommended Parts

    The infrared robot beacon is a critical part of the RoboFlag project and is one of the most important aspect of the competition. This document outlines the design considerations involved with the PIC-based infrared robot beacon specification, and explains how you would design and build a beacon.

    Each beacon consists of multiple emitters (an encoder chip and LEDs) and detectors (detectors and decoder chips) connected to a small microcontroller. The beacons work within line-of-sight, don't detect their own signal, don't interfere with most commercially available IR navigation sensors, and transmit up to four bits of data to other beacons.

  • Detecting the Visible Flag Beacon
    • Introduction and Design Objectives;
    • Lighting Problems and LEDs;
    • Detecting the Flag Beacon; and
    • PIC Algorithms.

    The flag beacon is a critical component of the RoboFlag project and is one of the most important aspects of the competition. This document details the use of a flag beacon detector that is easily interfaced to a PIC microcontroller.


 
 
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