Title

Packmule

Date of Graduation

Spring 2017

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Major

Electrical Engineering - Cooperative Education

Research Sponsor

Dr. Yilmaz Sozer

First Reader

Mr. Greg Lewis

Second Reader

Dr. Robert Veillette

Abstract

People face demands of hauling equipment and belongings with them every day, whether it be for work or leisure. This design report discusses and details a product that would allow people to overcome the struggles of this. The Packmule is an autonomous following robot that has the capability of carrying a load up to 30 pounds. The design involves two independently controlled motors operating two drive wheels so that the Packmule will be flexible in the directions it can move. There are also two more steering wheels for support of the base and the load inside. The way in which the Packmule follows the user consists of a wireless transmitter that will be worn on the user’s belt. This transmitter will emit an ultrasound signal that will be received by five ultrasonic position sensor receivers mounted on the Packmule. The signals will be filtered and amplified in order to communicate with microcontroller. The strength or amplitude from each received signal will be compared in order to determine the location of the user. Since the Packmule is autonomous, it will need to be able to detect objects in its path. Several infrared sensors will be mounted to the front of the Packmule for this reason. It will track the distance an object is away from the Packmule by measuring the amount of light . Algorithms programmed into the Arduino Mega 2560 microcontroller will take the data from the IR sensors and the ultrasonic position sensor receivers and calculate a path to safely and efficiently follow the user.

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