The Life of Geoff - our autonomous 4WD rover who nearly became a South African Nurse.

A talk from EMF 2022 by Lincoln & Chris Barnes (Team Robotmad)

On Friday June 3, 2022 at in Stage C

Geoff, an autonomous 4WD robot, was conceived at the beginning of 2018 with the specific goal of roaming around the EMF campsite. While he did make an appearance that year, RGB lights dazzling in the dark, our ambitions for autonomy were thwarted. However, with the arrival of the NVIDIA Jetson Nano in 2019 our artificial intelligence powered rover idea came to life. After surviving his own brush with Covid-19, and nearly becoming a South African Nurse. Four years on, Geoff is back, and he's living his best life.

This talk delves into the highs and lows from over 4 and a half years of development:

Designing a custom Motor Controller,

Cannibalizing a CCTV pan & tilt unit to build an expressive head and utilising suspension components from an RC car,

Burning out motors and eating gears, it took some perseverance with a dash of curiosity to get right,

Driving hundreds of LEDs in amazing patterns,

Integrating a NVIDIA Jetson Nano (and then Xavier NX),

His "hunger" for Oranges,

Nearly becoming a robotic nurse in South Africa Covid-19 wards,

Complete redesign of electrical systems,

Increasing capability with new sensors and 4 wheel steering drivetrain,

Developing software across different systems, including FreeRTOS, ROS, PyTorch, TensorFlow, Arduino, AWS Sagemaker and more…