Earlier this year we posted about some work we had been doing about interfacing I2C devices to Nao using an I2C to USB interface. This was primarily around the TPA81 thermal array sensor. Well, we have been developing this a little further.
Firstly, we decided that Nao should be able to carry the sensor when he needed it and produced a prototype Thermal Array Gun, using an old Band-Aid (plaster) box, a nerf gun dart, electrical tape and liberal amounts of hot glue. This is what we ended up with, a bit Heath Robinson but it works.
The unit houses the I2C to USB interface and then has the thermal array sensor mounted on the front, to allow correct reading of the ambient temperature. Internally, it is pretty simple:
The thermal array sensor provides an array of 8 spot temperatures and 1 ambient temperature. This allows us to locate a 'hot spot', within the arrays field of vision. In the example video below Nao has been programmed to look for 'hot spots' 5 degrees Celsius above the ambient temperature. He has also been programmed to avoid temperatures more than 30 degrees above the ambient temperature.
Posted: 22/10/2012 16:39:18
Well, inspired by TheAmazel and his bluetooth project, I have been looking at what I can do to add additional hardware to my Nao. The Nao Next Gen, the latest release from Aldebaran, includes a USB port in the back of Nao's head. This got me thinking, what if we could use that port to provide an extension bus using I2C. After some checking with other members of the Nao Developer Program, I was able to ascertain that the DevanTech USB to I2C module would be recognised by Nao as a serial port. Nao also has Python and an implementation of PySerial installed as standard.
Using the USB to I2C module and a thermal array sensor (DevanTech TPA81), I have been able to prototype the interface and software required to attached I2C devices to Nao, starting with the thermal array sensor. Here is a short video showing it all in operation.
Posted: 23/03/2012 20:55:37