This was a module that I think everybody in the class was looking forward to taking part in, as we previously worked with Jason and knew the type of environment and learning would be achieved during the semester. The project aim was to get a working fully functional robotic lamp at the end of twelve weeks. At the Start of the semester we all worked individually on real time operating systems with implementing vision and motors using threads and semaphores, this was good to gently build us in to the project and give us some confidence in proceeding forward with the lampbotic project.
The splitting up the class in teams was the start of us talking control over the project, my team was the Face team. Our team was responsible for being the face of the lamp, which would be what most people would be drawn to when looking at the lamp so it was important that we came up with an idea that would do the project justice, this lead to the team to research different ideas, which lead us to choose an LCD screen to be the face of the lamp, this lead us to the Nextion LCD screen which at the time of ordering it we were convinced it was the best option that we had looked at and had very promising ideas for it by splitting GIF’s and displaying emotions that would really enhance the great work done by the other teams the motor team and vision team who really hit the ground running with their projects.
When the LCD screen came in the team got a lift that we could finally start contributing to the project. Early on we realised some of the ideas we had were not going to work, like the splitting of GIF’s and having them displayed on the screen as the screen could only hold certain number of pictures and didn’t have the functionality we had expected. The team did its best when encountering these problems and did come up some cool stuff to add, also the team had decided to use Arduino to interface with the Nextion LCD screen and this was the first time that anybody doing lampbotic project got an RTOS working on Arduino. The FreeRTOS that was used to achieve RTOS on Arduino also had issues around it, getting Memory pools was an issue and having it interface with the Mbed also proved troublesome but this is what learning is all about.
Face team our as we called ourselves Foireann Visage which is Irish/French for face team was going to be Dutch but the French sounded better. The atmosphere was always good between all and worked well together and good interaction between all throughout the semester and in fairness that could be said of all the teams taking part in the project this year which is a win by itself.
I’m happy with the experience and the learning that took place over the semester, this is a great way of learning and it’s a credit to Jason for employing this type of project. With this type of project there is always apart to play no matter what level of ability people are at, and there is great learning when running into problems and with projects like these you are going to get problems. The face team was great to be a part of and the whole team in general. I just like to say Congratulations to the class and best of luck to everyone in the future and a big thanks to Jason.