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Sachiel7
01-07-2004, 08:35 PM
I just thought I'd post some info here on our edubot, and open discussion about several things that this project enties.
So, I built an edubot using the new controller, and I used the main case of my old power supply as the frame. I've got all 3 of last year's banner sensors along the front, and it looks pretty cool. So, what's so special about this little bot?
It follows me.
Call me nuts, but I've got it autonomously following me walking around.
How do I do this, you say? Well, for some rookies out there I'll give you a brief explanation. It all starts out with two bicycles. No, I'm not kidding. It starts off where I stripped the rear reflectors off of me and my sister's bikes. Why would I do such a thing? To velcro them to the back of my shoes, that's why. It's not quite a fashion statement, but It serves its purpose. Anyway, for those who haven't used the banners (rookies) they are a small yellow sensor that emits a red beam of light. if this light is reflected back to the sensor, it switches on a digital input. Pretty neat, eh? They're commonly used to track things with, like goals, or following lines. The big issue is that they work best if what they're tracking is retro reflective. Basically, that means that if light hits the reflective surface at an angle, that the light will reflect back at that exact angle. So, that's why I needed the bicycle reflectors, they're retroreflective enough for the sensors to work well.
So, having this thing follow me around is neat and all, but what real purpose does it serve? It can carry things for me. I've got it set up so that an attachement, may it be a luch bag, or a paper file, or what have you, will attach to the top and get lugged around by the bot.
For those iterested in seeing our bot, we'll have it at the VCU School of Engineering at Kickoff this saturday.
So, any questions/comments are welcome, and any discussion about sensory applications would be great here to. I hope to post pictures after kickoff.

Rickertsen2
01-07-2004, 09:53 PM
Our edubot wonders around aimlessly while not hitting anything. It uses sharp GPD12 IR rangefinders.

sanddrag
01-08-2004, 01:52 AM
I'm not a programmer so code would be of no use to me but could you perhaps tell us the logic behind the programming? I'm curious as to exactly how it follows you. Thanks.

seanwitte
01-08-2004, 10:55 AM
It sounds pretty cool, impressive that you can account for the eratic motion of your shoes. Do you have a rangefinder or something to keep a set distance away?

Francis-134
01-08-2004, 11:33 AM
Maybe you could post a picute of your robot for us. Maybe have a friend take a picture of it following you arround.

It sounds really cool though.

Aaron Lussier
01-08-2004, 11:57 AM
I'm curious about somethings.

At what rate are you walking at?

At what rate does the bot move at?

ahmed
01-08-2004, 01:52 PM
Maybe you could post a picute of your robot for us. Maybe have a friend take a picture of it following you arround.

It sounds really cool though.
I'm impressed! :]

Better yet, shoot a video, that's something i'd love to watch! :)

Sachiel7
01-08-2004, 03:25 PM
Well, I think the way I spaced out the sensors just gets around the "eratic" movement. Yes, I have to walk slower than usual, it would work best when walking around a room though. I have 3 banner sensors, one centered and the other 2 on either side of the center. The programming at this point is simple. I'm actually quite suprised it worked on the first try! Basically it checks what the sensors are picking up. For example, the left and center sensors are getting feedback. That means that it's not far off course, so it goes forward with a slight left turn to re-center itself. If the center is lit, then it goes full forward. If only the left is lit, it goes forward with a harder left turn. It works really good, and I'm implementing a buffer of sorts to compare the current sensor inputs with the data it gathered over the last second or so. That way, if the left sensor was getting feedback and lost it, it knows that the object is probably far off to the left.
It's not the autonomous course correcting for the Spirit, but it's still pretty neat.
I video clip is probably feasable. Chack back for one after kickoff, or I may load stills from the clip. Either way, I hope to have media up after kickoff.
Ways it could be improved:
Well there are many. Most of them I didn't have the time to implement. One thing that would probably be the biggest help at this point is a true strip of retro-reflective tape that can go all the way around the back of my shoes. More sensory was planned to go in (ultrasonics, the works) but I didn't have the time to mess with, and It works just ok for showing off at kickoff.
I guess I'll sortof be using this as my business card to rookies and other teams in need of programming/electronics assistance. I've already hooked up with a few in the area this past fall and I think I'll be hearing some "WOW"s at kickoff from them...

Aignam
01-08-2004, 04:10 PM
I love hearing about this sort of stuff. Good job, and get a video up!

rwaliany
01-08-2004, 04:13 PM
:-) We did the same thing, but you can run around if you want and it follows you, just point a remote control for the tv that uses infra-red at it. It brought us chips the other day while we were watching tv. I have the video on that somewhere. Here's some sample code for working with EXTREMELY sensitive sensors and calibration for the sensitivity for that person who asked, http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?t=23335

Aignam
01-08-2004, 04:15 PM
:-) We did the same thing, but you can run around if you want and it follows you, just point a remote control for the tv that uses infra-red at it. It brought us chips the other day while we were watching tv. I have the video on that somewhere. Here's some sample code for working with EXTREMELY sensitive sensors and calibration for the sensitivity for that person who asked, http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?t=23335

That's amazing. Can you find the video?

rwaliany
01-08-2004, 04:27 PM
That's amazing. Can you find the video?


http://hartrobot.com/robot%20vids/tv.avi - Here's one of me and some other people on a couch watching a blank tv which will soon fade to our team name etc for flash presentation as the robot brings us chips FRITOS! if thats how you spell it.

http://hartrobot.com/robot%20vids/on-off.avi - Here's one of someone walking around it frmo any directiona nd turning the remote control on/off.

Currently, we're moving it to an air base though, It should be an edu autonomous blimp by tonight which follows a remote control.

Thanks,
Ryan Waliany

Nick Mac
01-28-2004, 07:08 PM
I was just thinking...this doesn't relate to the programming of the edubot in any way...but this was my first year involved with it and i'm wondering, is the game for the edubot relative to the game for the real robot every year? Like in both games this year, maneuvering balls and hanging on a bar are included. any thoughts?

Sachiel7
01-29-2004, 10:25 AM
I hadn't noticed that!
Actually, this is the first year where games for the edubot have been put out. I can't beleive I missed that! Anyway, I'm guessing it may not be a coincidence :D