Happy New Year!

Wow, it’s been a month since our last update.  That’s partly because we’ve been working on a talk for the upcoming conference, and partly because we’re too lazy after Christmas.  Anyway, lets update you on progress.

Feed the Fish

We have progress on this game, but there’s more to do.

The robot does the appropriate moves around the course, it aligns itself on the aquarium using video guidance, then it stops at the appropriate place based on the front time-of-flight sensor.  The catapult fires, and sometimes, five projectiles land in the aquarium.  But only sometimes.

Why only sometimes?  The robot generally manoeuvres to within a few millimeters of the stop position; it seems unlikely that this is the problem.  More likely is that the catapult does not fire the projectiles consistently.

The next step for this game is to film some shots in slow motion to see if we can see where the problem is.

Oh, and we need to build an aquarium.

 Tidy Up the Toys

‘Toys is a much better story.  So long as the moves are kept slow the game works.  We have quite a few videos of the boxes being autonomously collected and nicely stacked in the target box.  For now, we’re going to call this done.

It might be that we could make the robot move faster but that will require re-tuning of some parameters.  Perhaps if there’s still time when the other games are in the bag?

Up the Garden Path

This is the next game to address.

To begin with, we are going to use the old line following code that was originally used in P19.  It uses a Pi camera to follow the line.  The code will need to be updated because it doesn’t understand junctions, but this doesn’t seem that tricky to do.

Also, the code follows a white line on a black surface, but we will have a black line on a beige background (since our arena is made of hardboard).  Again, a pretty easy change.

The next step for this game is to mark up the course.  Break out the tape!

DIY Obstacle Course

Nothing to report on this game yet.  Our chief driver frequently drives P21 around under radio control so the robot (and driver) are completely ready to take on a course.  It’s just that we don’t have a course yet.

We would like to do the course soon though.  We have a pond which sometimes freezes over.  It would be cool to see some ice driving!  So we need to film this game while the weather is cold.

That’s all for now.  Until next time…

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