Some BP1.0 movies

My neighbor was over today with her dog Rosco. 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 Rosco chasing a couple balls. Unfortunately I don't have a video of him returning the ball. But Oh well....

Rosco Vid 1 (quicktime) Rosco 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

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

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 triads. They are in turn driven by the TINI. Here are some pictures of the latest developments:

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

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. Here are some images from the first motor/ball test.

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

Dog Ball Thrower project Started

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.

Stick around for more news.

David Wolowicz
January 30, 2003

USB I/O Module Project Presentation

Currently Fast Forward Technologies (FFT) is working on building a USB based I/O module. This project is part of the 499a design course at the University of Victoria.

The USB I/O module is being designed with education in mind. Not only is the product being built while the team members are working on their education; its being built to help schools educate their students in the mechatronics area.

The goal of the project is to go from design, to a breadboard prototype, to a PCB based prototype. The ultimate result of this project (Not necessarily in the scope of 499A) is to create a production board for the next generation of Festo's Easy port. The current prototype has the following specifications: Module Specifications

Bread Board Based Prototype

Unpopulated PCB

The complete I/O module
The module inside its case

The demonstration setup
Jon, the gold bowler, and Dave

FFT has four goals in this project

1) To learn about the USB protocol
2) To learn about the production stages of a product
3) To create a marketable and manufacturable product
4) To complete complete the 499a coarse

To learn more about this project you can look over the documents in the Docs area.

David Wolowicz
September 1, 2002
This FFT web site is part of the Elec499 Project course. All files, concepts, and trademarks are licensed Dave Wolowicz.