Download Open-Source Robotics and Process Control Cookbook ( Designing and Building Robust, Dependable Real-Time Systems ) By Lewin A.R.W. Edwards

Introduction

Over the course of roughly a year, after completing my first book, I resurrected an old pet project of building an autonomous submarine (referred to as the E-2 project) with certain fairly challenging functionality requirements. In the course of developing this idea, I spent many hours on the Internet and elsewhere, researching techniques for rapid development of various electromechanical control systems and platforms to run fairly complex signal-processing algorithms. Although there are, of course, thousands of useful projects and snippets of information to be obtained from the Internet and books on hobbyist robotics, I found that nobody else seemed to have my exact priorities. In particular, there is apparently no single reference that gathers together at least introductory solutions to all the embedded design issues that affected my project: a need to use low-cost (open-source) tools and operating systems, a requirement for several features with fairly hard real-time requirements, and a desire to use cheap, off-the-shelf consumer grade components wherever possible. Available resources on many topics concentrate either on very expensive off-the-shelf industrial components, or on tightly constrained systems built around a single microcontroller, with delicately optimized, nonportable code to control peripherals—and a very limited range of peripheral support, at that. These latter system design restrictions are unavoidable when you’re working to tight power requirements, space constraints, or a rock-bottom bill of material (BOM) cost, but it’s an inordinate amount of effort to build and tune such systems for a one-off project or a prototype. Furthermore, learning all the details required to assemble such a system is an enormous task; it’s easy to get lost in fine-tuning details without ever managing to field a complete, working system. Irritatingly, many of the tweaks and most of the careful planning you do to get that system operational will have to be thrown away if you move into actual production, or if you need to build some more units with slightly different components. What I was searching for while developing the E-2 project was a way to build various hard real-time modules (sensors and actuators) that could easily and cheaply be interfaced to a general-purpose computer running Linux. The Linux box served as a test bed for algorithms which would later be ported down into a smaller, cooler, more power-efficient processing module of some kind. I needed a solid basis of known-good code and techniques so that I could strike out from that point and build my own customized system. I also wanted a simple up-and-running guide to building embedded Linux distributions. For the initial, non field able prototype of my submarine, I didn’t have an exact idea of how much CPU horsepower I would need in the final version—so I didn’t want to get tied to a specific microcontroller architecture, nor did I want to get bogged down in trying to tweak and tune many real-time tasks on a single microcontroller. I also wanted to use a few peripherals—such as cameras —which are easiest interfaced through a general-purpose operating system

Table Of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction

1.1 History of this Book and What You’ll Get From Reading It

1.2 Target Readership and Required Skills and Tools

1.3 Conventions Used in the Text

Chapter 2: Microcontrollers, Single-Board Computers and Development Tools

2.1 The Division of Labor

2.2 Candidate Microcontrollers for ‘Hard’ Tasks

2.3 The Atmel AVR and its Development Hardware Up Close

7 2.4 Candidate x86-based SBCs for ‘Soft’ Tasks

2.5 The Advantech PCM-5820 Single-Board Computer Up Close

2.6 Selecting an Inter-Module Communications Protocol

Chapter 3: Some Example Sensor, Actuator and Control Applications and Circuits (Hard Tasks)

3.1 Introduction

3.2 E2BUS PC-Host Interface

3.3 Host-to-Module Communications Protocol

3.4 Stepper Motor Controller ….

3.5 Speed-Controlled DC Motor with Tach Feedback and Thermal Cutoff

3.6 Two-Axis Attitude Sensor using MEMS Accelerometer ..

3.7 RS-422—Compatible Indicator Panel

Chapter 4: The Linux-Based Controller (A Soft Task)

4.1 A Brief Introduction to Embedding Linux on PC Hardware

4.2 Configuring the Development System and Creating Our Custom Kernel

4.3 The Linux Boot Process—Creating a Bootable Compact Flash Card

4.4 Creating a Root File system for our Embedded System

4.5 Creating a Bootable Linux System-Restore CD-ROM Disc

4.6 Using the Parallel Port as a General-Purpose I/O Interface in Linux

4.7 Implementing Graphical Control Interfaces

4.8 Infra-Red Remote Control in Linux Using LIRC

4.9 Introduction to Machine Vision Using Video4Linux

4.10 Customizing Your BIOS—The Structure of a Modern BIOS

Chapter 5: Encryption and Data Security Primer

5.1 Introduction

5.2 Classes of Algorithm

5.3 Protecting One-Way Control Data Streams

5.4 Protecting One-Way Telemetry

5.5 Protecting Bidirectional Control/Data Streams

5.6 Protecting Logged Data

5.7 Where to Obtain Encryption Algorithms

Chapter 6: Expecting the Unexpected

6.1 Introduction

6.2 Dangerous Exception Conditions and Recovering From Them

6.3 On-Chip vs. Off-Chip Watchdog Hardware

6.4 Good Power-On Reset Practices

6.5 A Few Additional Considerations for Battery-Powered Applications

 Chapter 7: Contents of the Enclosed CD-ROM

 

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