Has anyone succesfully programed the Gyro?

Posted by Anthony S. at 03/27/2001 8:50 PM EST

Student on team #442, Knight Riders, from Lee High School and NASA/BOEING/MEVATEC.

I’m a student from team #442, we initially planned to use the gyro to balance but on night before shipping decided it wasn’t going to work therefore we built our famous “outrigger” A.K.A “pogo-stick”. So I was just wondering if anyone knew how to work it, we tried forever to program it but never go it to. Please let me know if you did, I’m very anxious to see if anyone was able to get it working.

Posted by David Kelly at 03/27/2001 8:54 PM EST

Student on team #234, Cyber Blue, from Perry Meridian High School [IUPUI] and Rolls-Royce/NASA KSC/ NEC/ Trilithic/ Peregrine/.

In Reply to: Has anyone succesfully programed the Gyro?
Posted by Anthony S. on 03/27/2001 8:50 PM EST:

EOM= End Of Message

Posted by Karl at 03/27/2001 9:13 PM EST

Student on team #442, Knight Riders, from Lee High and NASA Marshall SpaceFlight Center.

In Reply to: Has anyone succesfully programed the Gyro?
Posted by Anthony S. on 03/27/2001 8:50 PM EST:

: I’m a student from team #442, we initially planned to use the gyro to balance but on night before shipping decided it wasn’t going to work therefore we built our famous “outrigger” A.K.A “pogo-stick”. So I was just wondering if anyone knew how to work it, we tried forever to program it but never go it to. Please let me know if you did, I’m very anxious to see if anyone was able to get it working.

Besides the TechnoKats(#45) I think somebody said that team #148 (forgot their name but they were Raytheon and Greenville) from the LoneStar regional used the “Gyro” too by moutning it higher so it was more sensitive to the bridge’s pitch. By the way, are you sure our “outrigger/pogo-stick” is “famous”? Email me if you read this because I have something I was going to tell you (if you know what I mean).

Posted by Kevin Sevcik at 03/27/2001 11:49 PM EST

Other on team #57, Leopards, from BT Washington and the High School for Engineering Professions and Exxon, Kellog Brown & Root, Powell Electrical.

In Reply to: Yo, ball-dude. Read this.
Posted by Karl on 03/27/2001 9:13 PM EST:

Since the gyro indicates rotational speed, it shuoldn’t matter how high or low it is mounted on the chassis. In a rigid body, everything part rotates at the same speed. Unless the part it’s mounted on isn’t fixed to the rest of the chassis, the only advantage to mounting it high up is if you’re able to damp vibrations and noise better at that location…

Posted by Karl at 03/28/2001 9:37 AM EST

Student on team #442, Knight Riders, from Lee High and NASA Marshall SpaceFlight Center.

In Reply to: Mounting place shouldn’t matter…
Posted by Kevin Sevcik on 03/27/2001 11:49 PM EST:

: Since the gyro indicates rotational speed, it shuoldn’t matter how high or low it is mounted on the chassis. In a rigid body, everything part rotates at the same speed. Unless the part it’s mounted on isn’t fixed to the rest of the chassis, the only advantage to mounting it high up is if you’re able to damp vibrations and noise better at that location…

I dunno, I’m just blindly repeating the words of others. Too many big words for me.

Posted by Matt Sorgenfrei at 03/28/2001 12:06 AM EST

Student on team #192, Gunn Robotics Team, from Gunn High School and Nokia.

In Reply to: Has anyone succesfully programed the Gyro?
Posted by Anthony S. on 03/27/2001 8:50 PM EST:

Hey There,
In 1999 GRT won the Honeywell Leadership in Control Award for programming the Gyro chip to help keep our arm in the right position, that is, keeping the floppies up while not falling of the puck. That year we pretty much layed the smack down. We can email you more specific instructions.
Matt Sorgenfrei

: I’m a student from team #442, we initially planned to use the gyro to balance but on night before shipping decided it wasn’t going to work therefore we built our famous “outrigger” A.K.A “pogo-stick”. So I was just wondering if anyone knew how to work it, we tried forever to program it but never go it to. Please let me know if you did, I’m very anxious to see if anyone was able to get it working.

Posted by Ken Leung at 03/28/2001 1:21 AM EST

Student on team #192, Gunn Robotics Team, from Henry M. Gunn Senior High School.

In Reply to: GRT won an award for programming it
Posted by Matt Sorgenfrei on 03/28/2001 12:06 AM EST:

It is true that we are one of the earlier teams who made use of the gyro chip, we even had a sample of the code that allowed us to make use of the gyro chip in the white paper section until the beginning of the year.

The reason we asked this site to take it down is because the code was used back at 1999 when they have a different control system. Due to compability issues, we felt it is best that we take that piece of code down.

We didn’t make use of the gyro chip last year and this year, therefore we do not have a more updated version of the code…

So, make sure you contact teams who made use of the code this year, teams like Team 45, for more solid information of making use of the gyro chip in this year’s control system.

However, feel free to ask any questions, and we will give you the best answer we can.

Posted by Travis Covington at 03/28/2001 1:05 AM EST

Student on team #115, MVRT, from Monta Vista High School and 3com - NASA-Xilinx-Hitachi Data Systems.

In Reply to: Has anyone succesfully programed the Gyro?
Posted by Anthony S. on 03/27/2001 8:50 PM EST:

this year we came up with a way of integrating the gyro and a pendulum as well as a speedometer/odometer to balance us on the ramp…
it was cool enough to get us the honeywell leadership in control award at the silicon valley regional

its fairly simple…

pendulum senses the direction of the robot (which way its heading up the ramp)…
operator presses “auto balance” button
robot drives UP the ramp until the gyro senses the tip…
the bot then stops, and drives backwards

if the ramp is still not centered on the pendulum it will repeat the prog (always driving uphill :slight_smile:

the odometer/speedometer allows us to go up the ramp at a constant determined velocity wehter we carry 1 or 2 goals…it also allows us to determine how far we drive backwards after the tiping is sensed…

that is the basic concept…(kinda…i dont really know since im the mechanical guy)

and i dont know the calculus they had to use to integrate the pendulum and the gyro…

it works too!! technically

any questions…ill try to answer

Posted by Pamela at 03/28/2001 7:50 PM EST

Student on team #166, Techno Insanity, from Merrimack High School and Texas Instruments.

In Reply to: team 115 won leadership in control this year for gyro progr
Posted by Travis Covington on 03/28/2001 1:05 AM EST:

I think Nashua team 151 used basically the same theory in their gyro. They probably have info on their website about it, all I know, it looked pretty and worked good!
Their website is
http://team151.tripod.com

                                 ~Pamela

Posted by Jason Morrella at 03/28/2001 6:30 AM EST

Coach on team #254, Cheesy Poofs, from Bellarmine College Prep & others and NASA Ames/Cypress Semiconductor/Unity Care.

In Reply to: Has anyone succesfully programed the Gyro?
Posted by Anthony S. on 03/27/2001 8:50 PM EST:

Anthony,

 I know many teams tried to create a "balance program".  We had two students work endlessly on it, and they actually got it to work - but it is not consistent enough to use in competiton, at least this year.  :)   (still very proud of them though).

Luckily for us, we have a couple of drivers who seem to have been born with Gyros in their heads, and they have done great without a program.

 Of the couple hundred robots I have watched play this year (either in person or video) - I have only seen two who have done what few seem to be able to.  The Monta Vista team (115) has an amazing robot and can balance very well - as shown by the 4th highest average in the country this year.  The TechnoKat team (45) balancing program is truly impressive to witness also - it's a TechnoKat innovation, so you know it's top notch.  I still can't believe the ease with which I saw it "auto" balance.
 I am sure some others have had success, but to answer your question, those are the two best I have seen.

Posted by Andy Baker at 03/28/2001 8:44 AM EST

Engineer on team #45, TechnoKats, from Kokomo High School and Delphi Automotive Systems.

In Reply to: Best two I’ve seen…
Posted by Jason Morrella on 03/28/2001 6:30 AM EST:

Jason, Ken, David, and others…

Thank you for your kind words. It is awesome that other teams have taken notice of our balancing system. It is nice to have good people helping each other out.

I’ve written this before, but this time I will be more succinct: It is not just the gyro and the software.

Traction and power are just as important.

Your drive system must have traction in order to not spin your wheels, and it also must have power in order to get the reactional movement that is needed to balance reliably.

As for our design… we’re not so amazed that the gyro is working, we are more amazed that our drive motors work they way we hoped. Our drive motors are the key to our system… we have coupled the F-P motor into the backside of the Drill motor, and we are still using the Drill motor’s gearbox to switch from low to high gear. We are always in low gear when balancing.

The hard part to this dual motor system is the coupling between the F-P motor and the Drill motor. I don’t remember how many couplings we detached until we got the design right.

If you are interested in more of the details of this design, please stop by the pits at Nationals.

Andy B.

Posted by Jeremy at 03/28/2001 8:49 AM EST

Student on team #95 from Lebanon high school.

In Reply to: Has anyone succesfully programed the Gyro?
Posted by Anthony S. on 03/27/2001 8:50 PM EST:

we programed the gyro but it only works once in a while not all the time.

Posted by Andres Teene at 03/28/2001 11:44 AM EST

Engineer on team #159 from Poudre High School and LSi Logic.

In Reply to: Has anyone succesfully programed the Gyro?
Posted by Anthony S. on 03/27/2001 8:50 PM EST:

We also are using the gyro for auto-balance. When on the ramp, the driver hits a button to enter the auto-balance mode where the control program takes over, it drives slowly up until the gyro senses the ramp movement at which point it drives back at fixed amount to balance. We automatically detect if we are balancing one or two goals which uses different coefficients for balacing algorithm. This system does work, however it requires calibration. This was why you may have seen us running back and forth with the laptop during our practice matches.

We started off with a more complex system that included reed switches on the wheel to measure travel and position with the optical sensor to detect center of the ramp. However the resolution wasn’t sufficient and we ended up using the simpler system.

Having a solid drive system with traction is required to make the auto-balance to work. We can’t have any wheel spin. We ended up using a real aggresive wheel design to give us the required traction. We won the GM design award for our design. We can pull both goals up the ramp, we can also pull the fully loaded strecher over the ramp.

Andres Teene
Poudre Robotics - Team 159

Posted by Kris Verdeyen at 03/28/2001 12:29 PM EST

Engineer on team #118, Robonauts, from CCISD and NASA - Johnson Space Center and Friends.

In Reply to: Has anyone succesfully programed the Gyro?
Posted by Anthony S. on 03/27/2001 8:50 PM EST:

Here’s a gyro idea for future competitions - In order to simplify controls, mount it as a yaw sensor. Then, have a setup so that the driver simply pushes the control stick in the direction that he wants the robot to go. Of course, this requires a pretty special (holonomic) drive system, but it might be possible with skid steering or tank treads for a sufficiently creative team. :slight_smile:

Posted by Kevin Sevcik at 03/28/2001 3:14 PM EST

Other on team #57, Leopards, from BT Washington and the High School for Engineering Professions and Exxon, Kellog Brown & Root, Powell Electrical.

In Reply to: Idea for using the gyro
Posted by Kris Verdeyen on 03/28/2001 12:29 PM EST:

In theory, this is a nice idea, and would be pretty nifty. The main problem is that the gyro is a yaw RATE sensor. Which of course means that to get the actual yaw of the robot, you’d have constantly add the values coming from the sensor. And of course the problem there is both calibrating the sensor VERY accurately and the fact that you’re going to get lots of noise in your data. Even assuming that the noise would tend to average to zero, you’d still be in trouble if you miscalibrated the sensor, as the more you turn, the more off your robot’s sense of direction would be. Plus I don’t know how the occasional bump would effect the system.

All in all, this reminds me of a story I heard somewhere about some chinese cart thing. The ancient chinese built a cart with all kinds of differentials and gearing in the wheels. The upshot of all that fine engineering was a statue at the top that always pointed north. A feat equalled by a cheap plastic compass you can find in a box of cracker jacks. Basically, I think that there just has to be an easier way to get a directional sense on a robot. How about building an actual gyro and attaching it to a potentiometer? (Do they make pots that are really easy to turn?)

Posted by Kris Verdeyen at 03/28/2001 5:26 PM EST

Engineer on team #118, Robonauts, from CCISD and NASA - Johnson Space Center and Friends.

In Reply to: Erm…
Posted by Kevin Sevcik on 03/28/2001 3:14 PM EST:

I’ve not actually done any work with the kit gyro, but some of these solid state sensors now can do really amazing things. It should be able to sense bumps, though, because it’s reading actual yaw, as opposed to using dead reckoning (where it would be screwed up if the wheels were to slip). The trouble would probably come into play when we went over a bridge while turning. It would integrate the yaw change wrt the robot, and wouldn’t have any way of translating that to an actual change on the field, I think. Actually, it might all work out in the end.

But that compass thing was interesting. - Why not hook up a cheap plastic compass (from SPI, of course) to a pot, and there we have our sensor. :slight_smile:

Posted by Edward Gilchrest at 03/30/2001 4:04 PM EST

Engineer on team #38, Nonnebots, from Nonnewaug High School and 9th Wave, Inc…

In Reply to: Has anyone succesfully programed the Gyro?
Posted by Anthony S. on 03/27/2001 8:50 PM EST:

: I’m a student from team #442, we initially planned to use the gyro to balance but on night before shipping decided it wasn’t going to work therefore we built our famous “outrigger” A.K.A “pogo-stick”. So I was just wondering if anyone knew how to work it, we tried forever to program it but never go it to. Please let me know if you did, I’m very anxious to see if anyone was able to get it working.

I am the president of 9th Wave Design, the sponsor for the Nonnebots, team #38. We have designed a gyro program that works successfully and consistently. The program is fairly simple. When we started designing the software we analyzed all the masses, wrote a program based on a PID algorithm (proportional, integral, derivitive) but found the loop speed to be too slow to properly manage it.
We then wrote a program that looks for the ramp to start tipping, immediately moves the robot backwards while calculating the angle and stops the pwm at a prescribed angle. This program also has a compensation for battery voltage, since the speed at which a particular pwm drives the robot is heavily dependent on battery voltage.
A very important aspect of the program is the fact that the operators clear the gyro counters and set a zero point while first moving up the ramp so errors don’t add up.
The program is designed to balance the ramp without overshoot so it does not “close the loop” so to speak as a true PID algorithm would.
This program has worked well with one goal, two goals, and goals filled with balls without having to make any changes.
If anyone would like more info feel free to email me at egilchrest@9thwave.com