Project

Project Title:                Obstacle Course Challenge Using Mobile Robot
Project Source:           School of Computer Engineering (SCE)
Project Supervisor:    Mr. Ravi Suppiah
Teacher Advisors:      
Ms. Lim Chuay Sia <lim_chuay_sia@sst.edu.sg>

Descriptions:
The deepening ties between man and machines today is unprecedented. We depend on machines to perform various tasks for us throughout the day and it can work relentlessly, 24 hours a day, all year long without needing a break. This has increased reliance on machines for a wide variety of tasks encompassing almost all facets of life. These machines have also helped us to increase our own productivity as well as creativity. They come in various shapes and sizes ranging from large autonomous bots on a modern factory floor to tiny yet powerful smartphones in our pockets.  
The challenge today is to program and make more efficient use of such machines especially 
in embedded domain where power  consumption is a major concern. For example till a few years ago a small Nokia feature phone could last up to a week under normal usage. In contrast, today smartphones from Apple, Nokia, Samsung etc. can barely make it through the day under heavy usage. Therefore in devices such as smartphones we traditionally use low power microprocessors unlike a traditional windows desktop computer. The second important challenge faced by system designers today is the increasing system complexity, which makes it more difficult to  write programs for such systems. In order to address this issue, system designers prefer to use off-the-shelf components that are supplied along with system-level Application Program Interfaces (APIs) to communicate with the various peripherals. These APIs are nothing but functions written in “C/C++” or “Assembly” language that perform the low level configuration and communication with the various peripherals such as motors, display, buttons etc. in a system. 
In this workshop we would introduce the students an off-the-shelf robot from Texas 
Instruments (TI) and briefly highlight some of its major components. There is a low power microcontroller from ARM that configures and manages these peripherals. We have written the low level APIs to configure and communicate with the various peripherals. The facilitators will brief the students about the process of using these APIs in order to take advantage of the peripherals. They are not expected to understand these APIs, instead emulate a system level programmer and just call these APIs to perform different tasks. At the end of the workshop, we will organize a contest where the students can program their robots to pass through a simple maze with obstacles.

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