Robotic Bike Schematic
A first update on what I've been working on this quarter as a part of EME 199.
Hey everyone, my name is Kenny and I’m taking some EME 199 units this quarter. As part of that, I’m working with Luke on his project and this is basically the first thing I’ve done in that respect. Last quarter (Fall 2011), I became interested in the project and Luke gave me a crash course on the electronics involved. From there, I took his spreadsheet (i.e. “a mechanical engineer’s version of a schematic”) and started working on building a visual representation of what is contained in the massive set of tables.
Upon starting, I had to decide on what software to use. I ended up leaning toward the open-source gEDA suite. It has its quirks, but ultimately I’m happy with the decision. One neat thing about it is that it comes packaged with a script called tragesym, which takes an OpenDocument Spreadsheet file and turns it into a schematic symbol - very well suited to the task of turning a spreadsheet into a schematic. This turned out not to be the amazing time-saver I had thought it would be, though, because it took a little while to learn and it wasn’t very flexible. In the end, I did a ton of manipulation manually by moving pins around, renaming them, etc. The whole schematic took far too long to build, and if I had to do it again, I could probably do it in less than half the time. That’s what learning experiences are all about though, right?
Overall, the exercise was helpful to get me familiar with all of the components on the board. I’ve looked at datasheets and read through hobbyist how-to’s on robot building before, but this basically forced me to understand how the components of a project like this work and interact.
Here’s a small screenshot of the overall schematic. It has insufficient resolution to view the details or read any of the text, but if you’d like to take a more in-depth look at what’s going on, I've uploaded the necessary files. You’ll need gEDA, which runs on Linux and “Unix-like” operating systems. Then just extract the files from the archive and open the schematic.sch file. Everything should be there.
And here's a closer look: