New TiltyWay Prototype and an Intern!

So to anyone who's seen the most update from yesterday on Kickstarter (as of this writing) this won't be much of an update. But to anyone new, this is a good one.

The TiltyWay design render that was in my previous blog post has been turned into reality, and it works beautifully! You can check out the picture above or a video of it running at the bottom of this post. And it's not done yet, with a number of features and improvements still to be implemented. This version is largely to test the new chassis design and the motor samples I had ordered to be sure they'd be up to production quality levels, and so far I'm pleased with both aspects of the test. There's still a bit of room for improvement; the chassis will be a bit stiffer and the motors will be quite a bit faster in the next prototype, but this version is still very much a success.

In other news…I've taken on an intern: Tyler Pawlaczyk. He's a high school senior with experience programming robots for the FIRST Robotics Competition, and is familiar with C, C++, and Java. He will be helping me with the TiltyIMU board's firmwares, software libraries, and the companion computer software.

Over the past week he and I worked together designing the firmware for the default balancing program the initial TiltyIMU controllers will ship with, which will be tailored towards Segway-like designs. Most of our work involved the more technical aspects of how to handle and store data and settings from the computer software, as well as optimizing communication between the computer and TiltyIMU boards. He and I are currently working on implementing all of that, as well as getting him up to speed on the motion sensors used by the TiltyIMU boards.

And lastly, some of you may have noticed that there's a new menu option in the navigation bar at the top of the webpage titled "How-To's". Due to popular request, I've begun documenting the design and construction of a Segway style self-balancing scooter using the TiltyIMU control boards. It's still very much a work-in-progress, so there isn't that much up yet; but I hope to keep updating it once or twice a week. So check back every now and then to see if anything new is up.

That's all for this post! But don't forget to check out the new TiltyWay video below.