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Donkey Car — Parallax Forums

Donkey Car

Does anyone here do Donkey Car?

https://www.diyrobocars.com/

If so I have some questions -

  1. Is it better to run a P2 or adapt something else to work?
  2. Can I still run my opto-isolaters and external 512k memory chips with the P2 if I am running a camera module?
  3. Does Parallax have any decent motor controllers or are they all limited to mostly low speed?
  4. How well does the P2 hook up to USB and IoT interfaces when it comes to external links for computing power?
  5. How well does the P2 and its accessories handle vibration and impact? Namely roll-over and the requried derby?
  6. How cold can the P2 be and still function? Some of what I want to do is outside in the winter and -30 or -40 is fairly common.

Comments

  • ercoerco Posts: 20,216

    I don't do it but it looks amazing! I'm sure a P2 could do it, but according to that page:

    Just because these cars are small and inexpensive doesn’t mean that you can’t run real autonomous car software on them. Like their big brothers, they run ML/CV software, from TensorFlow and OpenCV to ROS and Keras. To keep costs down, they split their computational tasks between Raspberry Pi or Jetson Nano computers onboard for real-time processing and cloud processing for offline training.

    Are those two computers required?

  • @AIman said:
    Does anyone here do Donkey Car?

    I don't but it sure looks fun.

    1. Is it better to run a P2 or adapt something else to work?

    The P2 wouldn't be my first choice. If I were to enter, I'd use a P1 for the low level motor control with encoder feedback. I'd then use a Raspberry Pi or Jetson Nano for the machine vision. The P2 likely could do some pretty cool machine vision stuff but I think the previously mentioned options have a larger body of open source software available.

    1. Can I still run my opto-isolaters and external 512k memory chips with the P2 if I am running a camera module?

    Yes to this but I'm not sure you really want to use a P2 for the machine vision (as previously mentioned).

    1. Does Parallax have any decent motor controllers or are they all limited to mostly low speed?

    Parallax has several motor controllers which would work fine with a variety of motors. If you use brushed motors, this dual MC33926 board would work. There are lots of other cheap h-bridge boards which would also work.

    1. How well does the P2 hook up to USB and IoT interfaces when it comes to external links for computing power?

    The P2 connects to USB just fine. I don't think it has intergrated IoT support but a WiFi module of some sort would be easy to add. I've used the ESP32 with a bunch of Propeller 1 and 2 projects. The ESP32 has WiFi and Bluetooth included.

    1. How well does the P2 and its accessories handle vibration and impact? Namely roll-over and the requried derby?

    I don't think this will be an issue. As long as you don't use the P2 as your bumper, it should be fine.

    1. How cold can the P2 be and still function? Some of what I want to do is outside in the winter and -30 or -40 is fairly common.

    I don't think P2 is any more sensitive than other microcontrollers. Where do live to commonly get -40 degree weather?

    As erco points out, the software suggested, doesn't directly run on the P2.

    @erco said:
    they run ML/CV software, from TensorFlow and OpenCV to ROS and Keras.

    Again, as I mentioned above, I'd use a P1 as a helper chip for a Raspberry Pi or Jetson Nano. Parallax has had various robotic platforms which used a P1 connected to a host PC. Eddie and Arlo are a couple of examples of these sorts of platforms. I think both Eddie and Arlo used a PC running ROS. The host PC issued commands to the P1 board to drive motors.

    The Open Propeller Project #8 converted existing Eddie code to run on the Propeller Activity Board. Here's a link to some of the work I did on this project.
    The code used in that project could interface with a Raspberry Pi or Jetson Nano.

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