The Senior Project Experience

Making the RVSV Documentation RVSV Entrance

 

Welcome to our work area...

This table has seen it all, from the arguments over design/redesign, the frustration of the non-working programs, the issues of power dissipation, test & development at it's worst, escaping blue smoke and soldering/desoldering/resoldering to the alcohol, swearing & all the other joys of project development.

 

Let me tell you a little bit about our project...

The Remote Visual Surveillance Vehicle is a RC truck that has a internet camera mounted to it.  It is controlled via radio communication between a transceiver attached to the serial port of the base computer and a transceiver attached to the vehicle.  The serial transceiver is controlled by a Java GUI which uses the javax.comm package (awesome package) to talk to the serial port.  The user clicks different buttons to the camera or vehicle move.  The serial transceiver has an onboard PIC which allows it to control the transition from transmit to receive and back.  The vehicle transceiver also connects to an onboard PIC which process the signals received, controls the movement of both the camera & the vehicle and sends back status information to the base PC.  The internet camera streams live video this whole time via a wireless router which is connected to the base PC as well.

Some notes:

  1. Originally we wanted this to play like a video game where the user controls the vehicle and camera motion through keyboard presses and watches the real time result.  However, this quickly got shot down by our advisor due to time constraints.

  2. We also originally wanted to learn how to transmit live streaming video ourselves so we would not have to rely on an internet camera.  We actually wanted to build this module from the beginning up...again though, due to time constraints this was not realizable.

  3. This project was done for our benefit.  We could have done a lot of easier or harder things, however, we both felt most comfortable and challenged enough with the task we chose.

 

Now a little bit about us (click the cartoon to view our individual websites)...

I'm Tameka Thomas.  The juggler of the group, the loud talker, highly opinionated, probably overly organized and definitely not afraid to speak my mind.  I don't take pictures, so you'll have to settle for this cartoon :)  I'm predominantly the one who will be talking throughout this whole website so get use to it.  I'm the software brains of the group, we equally take on the documentation, but since I'm a talker I tend to take it over a little more.  I mainly take care of the PIC programming, mainly because I love Assembly language and I have the most patience for it, the Java GUI/Applet & most of the website updates.  I also look over my partner's shoulder to check for those few stupid mistakes we all make...as he does with me.  I'm a Milwaukee, WI native, but spent a good amount of my later childhood in Hershey, PA attending Milton Hershey School (an amazing boarding school for the underprivileged).  After a couple of extra math electives (which were all programming) and some tinkering with some old electronics I decided that I was destined to be a Computer Engineer.

 

Manoj Bhambwani is a martial artist first and a Computer Engineer second.  He is by far the better engineer of this partnership.  He double checks everything twice and never wants to stick to a deadline (hence the reason I say he is the true engineer, cause he's crazy).  He's more quiet and less patient than me, but is also very opinionated and organized...which is probably why we can always work together on everything and anything.  Manoj is a Pittsburgh, PA native who spends much of his time tinkering with something, watching kung fu movies or practicing one of the many martial arts forms he knows and loves.  We're both gamers, but him definitely more than me.  So after this project is done, you'll probably be able to find us back at the apartment catching up on all the good PS2, Gamecube & PC games that we've been missing due to school.  His primary responsibility for this project is to work on all the hardware and watch over my shoulder constantly for my stupid mistakes.