Raspberry Pi: Image and Setup

Choosing your image:

As you already know we chose the Raspberry Pi computer as our central platform for our Controls and Communication system. After choosing the board we needed to set it up with the capabilities we wanted.

The first thing we did with the Pi was research the various images offered here. After uploading the Pidora image (and not really liking it) we chose a more modern, hacked version of the Raspbian "Wheezy" software called Occidentalis v0.2 from Adafruit. We thought that this would be the best image to use because of its more modern Linux language and its "hackable" capabilities. However, using Raspbian is relatively the same and we would recommend using either one on the Raspberry Pi whatever the purpose.

This site explains how to mount an RPi image onto an SD fairly well.

After uploading the image to an SD card we plugged into the Raspberry Pi and started configuring it to match the settings that we wanted.

Creating a static IP Address:

To allow us to download different packages from the internet for various different programs we wanted to run the Raspberry Pi needed to be connected to the internet and automatically connect to our network on boot; it also needed a static IP address so sshing wireless could be done effortlessly. By following the directions in this video creating a static IP, whether for your ethernet or wireless access, is easy. We use this static IP later to connect through Real VNC. By following the steps above you can also setup a Raspberry Pi in a few minutes. 


Choosing our Control and Communications Board

One of the first steps in this project was to choose a Control and Communications platform. Along with mechanical testing of propellors and motors we needed to start desinging our CPU. After researching various different types of micro controllers we chose to use the Raspberry Pi B. This was the best option for our central computation board because of its extensive documentation online. Obviously though, the Raspberry Pi couldn't be used for everything on our ROV. We needed another board that would be able to take sensory readings and relay them to the Pi.  We ended up choosing the Arduino UNO for this. Like the RPi, the Arduino UNO has a large online community and extensive documentation explaining anything you can think of. 

Below is a useful chart comparing the Arduino UNO, Raspberry Pi, and BeagleBone. 

There are a few other reasons for choosing the Pi. The first reason  is it's cost  relative to its computing power and capabilities. We believe that this board is able to offer many things others do while also giving us the cheapest product. The second reason why we chose the Raspberry Pi is, as we explained above, because of its extensive online doxumentation. There are hundreds of websites, blogs, and posts dedicated to the Raspberry Pi. We knew that the magnitude of data on the Pi would help us greatly as none of us have much prior experience configuring a computer. 

We would also recommend the Raspberry Pi to anybody who is looking to have a good time learning the tricks of the Raspberry Pi, but also to anybody who wants to create an advanced robotics system and is looking for the right computer. 

Raspberry Pi Model B

Introducing Limbeck Engineering and Project Robo Goby

This blog is dedicated to keeping the public up-to-date on Limbeck Engineering's Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV) project.

Limbeck Engineering is a group name we settled on after hours of brainstorming; limbeck is an archaic word meaning "to wear oneself out thinking of new ideas." We thought that this accurately represented our struggles in coming up with a name and future struggles that we will have to overcome while designing innovative technologies.  

Limbeck Engineering is comprised of four college students students: Josef Biberstein (MIT), Travis Libsack (MIT), Nick Nelsonwood (Princeton), and Liam Wade (University of Maine). We started the project and incorporated the business while attending high school in our hometown of Freeport, Maine.

Left to right: Liam Wade, Nick Nelsonwood, Josef Biberstein, and Travis Libsack

Project RoboGoby is an extensive design project that involves many different aspects of engineering, but is centered around how humans interact with the ocean. Limbeck is hoping to create a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) with autonomous capabilities that is affordable, easy to use, and, most importantly, innovative. We chose the name RoboGoby because goby, a type of fish, complements the abbreviation "robo."

There are a few reasons that we originally decided to take on this project. The first, and most important reason, was for our love of engineering as well as a hook for potential colleges. There are many ROVs out there, however, they are either quite expensive (priced at $5000 without accessories) or lack in capabilities. We decided to challenge ourselves with designing an UUV that is superior in both price and capability. Our current motivation comes from our continued love of engineering as we work towards earning college degrees and finding a place in the engineering world. The market has grown since we started the project, but still has significant gaps that we hope to ameliorate. 

In 2013, 2014, and 2015 our focus was on engineering a submersible with our desired parameters. We came out of the process with two basic, proof-of-concept models and a lot of experience.

In the final months of 2015 we decided to shift our focus towards commercializing RoboGoby. This is an entirely new endeavor for us and marks an important shift in strategy. The early parts of 2016 will be focused on conducting market research, contacting potential partners and customers, and creating a business plan. The end goal is to secure funding for the summer of 2016, so that we can develop an alpha version of RoboGoby to further our commercialization persuits.