Dog Ball Launcher

The new FFT project is a toy for your dog! (and us :) Here is a brief description from our proposal:

Dog owners often have the problem of leaving their dog at home while they are at work. What do dogs do while their owners are at work? Dogs usually lie around all day waiting for their owner to get home and play with them. This project proposes a ball throwing system that plays with and feeds the dog. The Automated Dog Ball Throwing Machine will throw tennis balls for the dog and reward the dog upon the return of a ball. The reward system will be based on audio playback or food. The machine will also be able to feed the dog while the owner is away.

For this project a new team was assembled:
Marlene Bothe (Mechanical Engineering Student)
Gordon Faust (Mechanical Engineering Student)
David Wolowicz (Electrical Engineering Student)

The supervisor is Adam Zielinski.

Dog Ball Thrower Update

Well we have started building the Bog Ball throwing machine. All of the technology and systems have been decided upon Now we just need to make it. No small task I assure you. The ball feeder and the food feeder are still a little bit in the air, along with the speed controller for the motor.

The electronics and programming has also started. I am having a harder time with some of the Java tools than the actual micro controller. I can now control the I/O with a web page. The next step will be to build an addressing circuit. I will then need to figure out how the interrupts will work. But its coming along. Here is a link to the Embedded web site: Current Web site. Note that the web site will not be up while I am working on the circuitry.

David Wolowicz
February 20, 2003

Working on the Way to Demo Day

Well the machine is pretty much mechanically complete. It needs a coat of paint and some snazzing up but its pretty much done. Now Its Up to the Electrical to get every thing in place. There are lots of problems including noise, and power dissipation. The Motor draws 11 Amps and that can heat up the motor. The motor and the solenoids are driven by home made solid state relays, based on triacs. They are in turn driven by the TINI.

Existing problems consist of:

  • Noise on the audio playback
  • A DC power supply that has enough power and is steady enough to drive TINI
  • Web cam software touch ups

. Here is a link to the Embedded web site: Current Web site. Note that the web site will not be up while I am working on the circuitry.

 
David Wolowicz
March 22, 2003

Demonstration Day was a Success

Friday was our demonstration day, and I'm glad to say that it went very well. The machine never crashed (other than one that we did by accident), it worked perfectly, and Millie (My Dog) loved it. So did the media; Gord did an interview on the New VI for the Friday 5 to 7 news and got his picture in the Times Columnist (here is the link). We also received an award from the IEEE victoria chapter. Most of the people who saw the project loved it, and those that saw Millie take off after balls loved it even more. Here are some pictures from the week leading to the presentation and from the presentation:

Thanks to all of the people who contributed to the project and congratulations to all the winners in the IEEE competition. The whole night was a great Success.

Over the next week I will try and put up a video of the machine (BP1.0) running in my back yard.

. Here is a link to the BP1.0: Current Web site. Note that the web site will not be up all of the time.

David Wolowicz
March 31, 2003

Some BP1.0 movies

My neighbor was over today with her dog Roscoe. He loved the machine and even put the ball back. It was good to see since Millie (my dog) loves to chase the ball but only keeps it. I have some video of Roscoe chasing a couple balls. Unfortunately I don't have a video of him returning the ball. But Oh well

Roscoe Vvid 1 (quicktime) Roscoe Vid 2 (quicktime)

I'm also happy to report that the audio is much better now that it is outside. Originally we thought that the volume might now be high enough; however, now that we have tested it outside, it is just perfect. I guess the ambient noise at the demo was way too high.

. Here is a link to the BP1.0: Current Web site. Note that the web site will not be up all of the time and I rarely turn the video on.

David Wolowicz
April 2, 2003

Documents:
- Elec Progress Report #1 (Proposal)
- TINI Microcontroller Spec
- Mech Progress Report
- Elec Progress Report

Files:

- TINI Java source for Lights servlet Test1

- TINI Java source for BP1.0 servlet
- TINI Java source for Background Program

Videos:
- Rosco Vid 1 (quicktime)
- Rosco Vid 2 (quicktime)

Images:

 

 

David Wolowicz
February 28, 2003
This FFT web site is part of the Elec499 Project course. All files, concepts, and trademarks are licensed Dave Wolowicz.