The Axle derives from a Master Thesis whose aim was to design the control and sensing system for high mobility and security military axles.

The control system was put on a chassis with two small DC motors. The core of the system is a Arduino Mega 2560 board, which communicates with a PC thanks to a RF transceiver (maximum link distance: 1km). The robot is equipped with an accelerometer, a gyroscope, a magnetometer (each of them is 3-axial), a temperature and pressure sensor, a gas sensor and an ultrasound module which can measure the distance of the nearest obstacle in front of it.

This robot, through a RF link, is connected to a PC, where a Labview virtual instrument is used to communicate with it.

The program can control the movement of the robot through some buttons on the interface or a USB joystick connected to the PC.

The data received by the PC is also displayed on the interface.

Special attention has been put on the accelerometer-gyroscope-magnetometer sensor. In particular, three graphs are drawn (one for each sensor) and a 3D model can be displayed in order to see the orientation of the robot.

The temperature and pressure sensor and the gas sensor are the “test” sensors. Since the gas sensor consumes quite a lot of energy, it is most of the time shut down, but it can be software enabled in order to measure LPG, CO and smoke concentrations.

Here is a presentation with the Axle project description: