Research & Development

Our team does many side projects in addition to constructing a competition ready robot. Below are some of our projects.

Oculus Rift

  • TALON 540 has done a lot of development with the Oculus Rift in the past year
  • We recieved our Oculus Rift during the 2013-2014 season as a donation from Palmer Luckey, the founder of Oculus.
  • Initially, programming began experimenting with the capabilities of the stereoscopic motion and the 3D environment.
  • Programming integrated the Oculus into regular robot functions by utilizing two cameras on either side of the robot to emulate a stereoscopic view
  • The cameras streamed into a computer connected into the Oculus, allowing the secondary driver to view from a first person perspective
  • We were not allowed to use this technology in the actual competition itself, however our programmers will continue to develop this technology for other projects.

Leap Motion Controller

  • We purchased the Leap Motion Controller at the beginning of the year in order to control the robot in new and innovative ways.
  • Initially, the sensor was to be used by the secondary driver to operate different components on the robot. This was accomplished, but was deemed not precise enough for competition use.
  • After the season ended, we decided to change the sensor’s use and programmed it to control the robot when the driver controlled it with both hands.
  • Using both hands worked better because the action of driving the robot doesn’t have as many precise actuations as the pistons and other actuators.
  • A future possibility is that this can be combined with the Oculus Rift technology, removing the downside of obscured vision encountered with the Rift.

SD540 [In Collaboration with]

The SD540 is a motor controller which Talon 540 helped develop with one of our generous sponsors,
It features:
  • A load capacity of 60 amps continuous and 100 amps peak
  • Passive Cooling
  • Bidirectional limit switches
  • Power, direction and status indicator LEDs
  • Brake/coast and direction selection with flip of a switch
  • Field upgradable firmware
  • Can interface with any library that has the PWM API
For additional information, view the official SD540 page at

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Mills E. Godwin High School | 2101 Pump Road, Henrico, VA 23238

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