Wow that went fast, coming back from the second roadtrip there were just 14 days left to go till our final presentation.
But before that we had to present our robots to some kids in a local school. That school had already held some robotic workshops and was therefore particulary interested in our newly developed models
EPS Walking Robot for Education - Project Film from Lukas Bachschwell on Vimeo.
This was the video of our final presentation. I must really say that our project got a little bit stressy in the end. To a big part that was because of the roadtrip at the end our planning but ok, that was a trade-off that we made very deliberatly. But also it was due to the individual team members not being in a huge amount of other activities than the project itself...
Regarding the problems I addressed in my Midterm Post:
Most of the webserver issues have been figured out in the end. The interface library is still not 100% stable but works much better by now.
The ever annoying Chinese hardware troubles. We had non working servos, strange power-banks that did not deliver what they specified and strange non working USB connectors and drivers.
At the end we still had several annoying technical struggles left:
Our power issue was and is still not fully figured out. Powering the robots from standard power-banks from amazon made a lot of things really hard, especially because the current peaks of the servo are really hard to handle for the voltage regulators on the board and in the power-banks.
This leads to regular brown outs and then the robot starts to have cramps (literally).
The code of the hippie and crab was still chaos, mainly because I was not keeping my eye on it all the time and generating clean code is apparently hard for some people. We had libraries included that where not needed, Spanish comments copied out of other code examples and even Spanish variable names from other code on github. I cleaned up the code a lot by now but there are still lots of things that could be done to improve readability...
We had 3 days after the roadtrip till a presentation in a local school...
And that was almost nothing, in fact it got really stressy. I had the idea to already prepare the presentation in the same way as we would need it for the final presentation, to save us the time of doing this task twice.
That worked out
We did the presentation very well, much slower than the 20 seconds per slide because we tried to speak very clear. We held the presentation in English and the Spanish kids followed along quite well. Also after the presentation the kids tried out our robots and against all odds they survived the hour of playtime. We had enough time to get some nice footage for the final video.
Then the weekend came, final presentation time was in the next week already.
Apart from cleaning up cables and making sure the robots are in a presentable shape I spent the last week creating and editing the video you saw in the beginning. My idea was to make a video that could easily be a professional advertisement. We shot some more footage of the robots in action and I wrote a text for the voice over. I finished the video and my parents both did a voice over in Vienna and had it sent to me on the day before the presentation.
I was very happy with how the video turned out, and we even got the feedback that it might be "too commercial". But that did not bug me at all because that was exactly what I was going for 😎.
Our presentation got a few little refinements and other pictures and then we delivered. We also had to "present" a little discussion part between 2 members of our team that should direct attention to some details. I did that together with Maxim for our team.
Also I decided to film all presentations with my own camera since the camera and streaming equipment available in that room was pretty crappy (It was the same room as in the midterm presentation)...
Since I helped one of the kickstarter teams a lot they gave their prototype of the knock me, a smart door knocker to me. I made some droneshots and helped them with the programming of the prototype. I also supplied them with a ESP8266 processor and a servo-motor for it 😜. But what is really cool about their prototype is the surface finish of their 3D printed parts. It is basically just sanded and painted, but looks incredibly nice. I hope I can achieve this level of quality with my own printer as well :-). The product itself is pretty ridiculous but could work as a toy on kickstarter (just my opinion, don't take me too serious here).
I also took home the lasercut parts for one robot and also ordered some servos and parts. I will probably build one for my self and maybe try to solve some of the silly issues without the limitations we had in the project (power-bank, money, ...)
My plane left on the 21 and suddenly I was home.
Since this entire week was so packed I was incredible happy about that and could finally enjoy some silence and being with my family and girlfriend.