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Robotics I Fall 2007

Robotics II Spring 2007

Robotics I Fall 2006

Vision Servoing Laboratories

FPGA-Based Vision


LabVIEW Embedded


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Here is an assortment of important safety and community notes.


  • You must post links to your Lab 1 reports on the Lab 1 page. The wiki password is posted to the class discussion board.
  • You must join the class discussion board in order to view the wiki password.
  • Please join the class discussion board if you have not done so already.
  • Please fill in the Author and Summary fields when you make changes to the wiki.
  • The wiki is a class resource. Please use it and add stuff.

Battery Charging

  • The BFHB only charges when it's powered off. LED Flashing= pre-charge, on steady=regular charge, off = no charge.
  • The charge LED flashes if you try to charge when the board is powered on. This does NOT mean the board is charging. Indeed -- it is not.
  • When you are finished using your board, turn it off and put it on charge.


There is now a Parts Request wiki page. Please use it to request parts that we should have.

Treatment of the LEGO Parts

  • Read Section 4.5 of Robotic Explorations to understand how LEGO parts fit together.
  • At most 3 pieces of LEGO may be glued to a motor or sensor, exclusively for the purpose of modularizing the element (co-called “LEGOizing” it).
  • Gluing 3 beams together and tacking a touch sensor to them is not LEGOizing.
  • Cutting or otherwise permanently changing the shape of rigid LEGO elements is prohibited.
  • Violators will be penalized with a $5 cash fine per incident, which will go toward a LEGO replacement fund.

Wiring Sensors and Motors

  • Read Appendix B of my book for construction notes on how to wire stuff. Neatness matters—improperly or badly wired stuff can fail or cause shorts on the board. This is also explained at .
  • Ribbon cable has been ordered for using in wiring sensors. This will work better than solid core wire because it is flexible.
  • Do not leave exposed wires dangling around the Handy Board. This can cause shorts which can damage the board.
  • Do not use the "Cricket Wires" (pre-cut stranded wires with a crimped metal end) with the Handy Board. They are not intended for this. These wires cost 50c each to purchase. Violations will result in $1 fine per incident.

Problems with LabVIEW Embedded

If you get a "Failed to Script Board Tools" error, it's likely a communication problem. Fix this by:

  1. Quitting LabVIEW.
  2. Opening VisualDSP++ (VDSP).
  3. Click on “Connect to Target” icon in upper left of screen. This should connect to your board:
    • If that fails, quit VDSP. Turn the Handy Board off, wait a few seconds, and then turn it on. (This gives Windows a chance to reload the low-level USB driver). Then relaunch VDSP and try to connect again.
    • If it still fails, your emulator driver may need to be re-established using the Analog Devices Configurator Tool. Instructions for doing this still needs to be written.
  4. If VDSP does connect to your board, quit VDSP, and then try LabVIEW again.

Detaching from the PC and Continuing to Run Your Code

The basic process is the following:

  1. Build your code in LabVIEW. This will result in a DXE (DSP Executable) file in your project.
  2. Quit LabVIEW in order to detach from your board. (We are hoping there might be a way to detach without quitting, but we don't yet know of it.)
  3. Boot up VDSP and connect to your board.
  4. From the "Settings" menu, choose "Target Options":

    In the lower left, there are three choices for "On Emulator Exit":
    1. Reset DSP and run.
    2. Run from current PC.
    3. Stall the DSP.
Set it to “Run from current PC.” Note: You only have to do this once, and the setting will be remembered.
  1. In the "File" menu, select "Load Program" and specify the DXE file. The DXE file will be in a subfolder named VDK_Application inside a subfolder named BF537 in your project folder.
  2. From the "Debug" menu, choose "Run" to run your code. Your code should now run.
  3. Click on the upper-left icon to detach the emulator. Your code should continue to run.
  4. Finally, unplug the USB cable from the Handy Board.

You must detach the emulator in software before unplugging the Handy Board—otherwise, you'll crash the software on the PC and you'll have to reboot it.

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Page last modified on September 17, 2007, at 07:48 PM