ME/CS 132a, Winter 2010, TA Info

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Power-on sequence

Pioneer robot:

  1. Turn on the robot
  2. Connect one end of the serial cable to the robot, and the other end to the laptop via a USB-serial adapter (note: the new ones don't seem to work, do not use them).

SICK laser:

  1. Plug two gun batteries into the Y-junction. This needs to be done before connecting the batteries to the laser, so that the output is 24V. Do not step up from 12V to 24V during power-on.
  2. Plug the other end of the Y-junction to the SICK laser.
  3. Connect the laser to the serial port on the RS422-RS232 converter box.
  4. Connect the converter box to the laptop via USB.
  5. Wait until the indicator light becomes green.

Test the laser using playerv

First run the player config file with laser loaded only:
$ player laser.cfg

In another terminal window, run the visualization program playerv:
$ playerv --laser:0

Laptop usage

Students should use the me132 account for lab experiments. This account has no sudo privilege, but is in the dialout (for USB access) and video (for camera access) group, so that no chmod needs to be done for the /dev directory. Several directories are created for lab use:

  • students: Students should put their code under this directory (note: readable by everyone).
  • configs: The Player config files.
  • bb2_cal: The Bumblebee calibration files.

TAs should use the me132ta account for testing. The directory me132a-wi11 is made readable only by the TAs.

NOTE: The laptops are configured so that they only turn off the screen when their lids are closed. However, this will tend to heat up the laptops quickly. To prevent the laptops from any unforeseen damage, be sure to suspend them by manually selecting "suspend" from the OS before leaving.