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AWESOME-O ROBOTIC INTERFACE

a bi-directional linear-rail-operated camera system

BACKGROUND

Dr. Richard Barker is a research scientist working at the Gilroy Lab at UW-Madison. In 2014, his lab began  a NASA project to improve the capability of growing plants in the micro-gravity of space. To assess the parameters to improve growth, the lab set up an array of petri dishes with varying test conditions applied to the subjects and used a camera system on a two-dimensional pivot to record and compare their success. 

A look at the astrobotany project taken on by the Gilroy Lab at UW-Madison.

WHERE INSIGHT STEPS IN

In 2021, Dr. Richard Barker came to the Insight Engineering Club seeking the club creative input to implement a more intuitive software to control the camera system, design a more robust and capable linear rail system, implement an automatic lens switcher for the camera and make updates and upgrades to the control system of the interface.

Design REVIEW 04/07/22

THE ELECTRICAL CIRCUIT

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-Improved wiring quality and organization

-Implemented status lights to circuit

THE USER INTERFACE

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-Created more intuitive UI to control the linear rail

-Implemented better system of documentation to allow for expandable UI

THE FILTER SWITCHER

-Designed a battery-powered automatic lens switcher to replace clunky manually-switched filters

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THE LINEAR RAIL

-Implemented new cable pulley system -> increased speed/efficiency

-Rewrote motor firmware to be more compatible w/ microcontroller

THE INTERFACE ENCLSOURE

-Designed a touchscreen interface implementing UI to control linear rail system

-Enclosure for microcontroller, PCB and system power switch

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