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Autonomous Colour Detecting Rover

As part of the Engineering Leadership Programme at National Instruments (my year-long industrial placement whilst at university) I have worked on a little personal project for one week using NI’s hardware and software.

I bought an off-the-shelf chassis for the rover, designed and soldered together a simple H-bridge circuit to power the DC motors and wired it up to the NI myRIO embedded hardware device (which is basically a Raspberry Pi on steroids, with an on-board Xilinx FPGA, a dual‐core ARM Cortex‐A9 processor and programmed in LabVIEW). I also wired-up a USB webcam to the myRIO which I then used to receive and process video for colour detection. In the end I used some simple image processing techniques to detect dominant colours in the video feed, and make the stand-alone rover either follow or flee when an object of certain colour was in front of it. The camera also sat on a little servo motor, which I controlled using a little PWM library I wrote on the FPGA.