I’ve been halfway around the world and back (on business), and now I am ready to get some engineering done.  It seems like I am now woefully behind all the other contestants.  But everyone loves an underdog.  By the way, and here comes the selfless promotion, if you find the project interesting, please vote for my project

 

With some advice from other fellow engineers, I widened the high current traces before submitting the circuit to the PCB manufacturer while I was overseas.  The circuits are back from the fab house and I started assembly, but it seems like I miscalculated my ordering schedule and forgot to order some parts.  It seems like I will have to wait until after the holidays to fully finish my PCB.  For now I will have to work on the software side.

 

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The next task that I need to accomplish is to implement a complementary filter for the gyroscope and accelerometer.  The accelerometer is subject to inaccurate information during vibrations and jerks, but the gyroscope is subject to drift.  This is problematic, but we can use the strengths of one sensor to fill the weakness of the other.  The idea behind a complementary filter is precisely this.  It will place a high pass filter on the gyroscope and a low pass filter on the accelerometer.  We then magically combine the inputs to get an accurate model of where our camera platform is in space.  Hopefully I can figure this out during the Christmas break.

 

As always, the hardest thing about the contest isn't necessarily the engineering, but finding the time to do the work.  I hope I can dedicate a big portion of time to this during the holiday break and get a chunk of the design work.