Wednesday, January 21, 2009

JohnMoses....The Presentation Robot

I decided that for my presentation that I wanted a moving Robot, so I took apart LucyLeia and built up another "bumper bug". Once again a different model.

JohnMoses once again has a different way of making the bumpers that he uses to figure out if he has bumped into something. He also has a program in NQC that is different from the past ones used. But I was also able to use the program from Bumper Bug, which he was able to run fine with. So right now, he is sitting with 3 different programs in his brain....waiting to be able to show off...Let's hope that he obeys correctly ;-)



Here is the base of JohnMoses.


Note: The Lego bricks with the wires were later connected to the RCX and his antennas were made longer.

To see the final product and him running about you will need to come to the presentation....Unless I end up feeling generous and posting it afterwards... ;-)

Time Spent Since Last Post: 3 hours 45 minutes
Overall: 43 hours 40 minutes

Monday, January 19, 2009

Still Trouble Shooting the Java....

So in looking around the leJOS forum I have found a couple of interesting posts/discussions that have hopefully helped to put me on the right track although I am still getting errors. One of the discussions was talking about the classpath variable that someone else had had some problems with and had put what they had done that helped to fix the problem. I changed the format to the way suggested and that is how the environment variable is now. Another one that was talking about Environment variables also gave some advice which I have put to use.

I also redownloaded the version 3 of leJOS, in case there was some problem with the original download. Some one on the forum had suggested this to someone else who was having a similar problem.

I tried uninstalling the newer version of Java 1.6 and installing an older version, but I am still get the error.

I think that I might have finally come to a Roadblock, in the sense of Time. At this point in time, I will take it as a learning experience for what I have received and move on to wrapping up my independent study. I wouldn't be surprise if the last post in this discussion describes the problem that I have been experiencing.

Time since last post: 2 hours 15 minutes
Overall: 39 hours 55 minutes

A step in the Right Direction....

So I'm back and working on the Java environment. I have been able to get the firmware to download to the RCX unit once again. I ended up googling "leJOS 3 serial port", which ended up leading me to a page that gave me information that the error I was getting was related to bad code in the 3 release. I followed the directions/suggestions that was suggested for getting the firmware to download. The summary of the fix was to copy files for the COM port from version 2 and replace the version 3 files. So right now I am sitting with an RCX brick that is ready to receive the Compiled Java code, which I would love to get to download. But I have received a large error message about not being able to find certain file(s), so hopefully I will be able to find a solution pretty quickly on the leJOS forum.

(I once again edited out the user name to protect the identity of the computer.)

On another note: To account for the time of when Uni was closed on Friday...what did I do you ask. Well honestly I didn't do anything but I made up for it on Saturday by working 3 hours on my paper. The good news is that it is pretty close to done, of course if I get the Java up and running I will have some revisions to make.

Time worked Since Last Post: 4 hours 15 minutes
Overall: 37 hours 40 minutes

Thursday, January 15, 2009

More on Trouble Shooting...Back Tracking....

As I have been informed, dealing with hardware related issues can make life tough and difficult. Through out my independent study, I have dealt with the problem of getting programs to transmit from the computer to the RCX unit. And just when I thought that I had figured it out (problem being that it didn't want to transmit when I was remoted into the computer), I find that once again, I am trying to figure why it won't transmit.

Since the last post I have:

  • Changed the battery in the IR transmitter (Doesn't seem to make a difference, although plugging it in fully does)
  • Tried changing a setting on the Serial Port through Windows, since someone mentioned on a forum that they had been able to get it to work but that it ran slow...so I tried turning off a buffer setting to see if that made a difference. It didn't. I then turned it back on.
  • So I then decided to see if I could load the Lego firmware back onto the RCX, it did it. Just fine and dandy!! I was able to load a NQC program on to the RCX brick and it worked just fine.

What I am thinking could be the problem is that the leJOS for the RCX is no longer being supported and Java has since moved onto a newer version. According to the leJOS website, it should work with Java 1.1 -1.5, I think that we might be on Java 1.6 or version 6 (that is if they haven't changed their confusing ways ;-) )So my next plan of action is to go dig up an older installer of Java that I have, in hopes that maybe installing an older Java will fix the problem and that any problems I do face, I will be able to solve quickly since I might have already seen them.

On a happier note: In doing this trouble shooting, I reinstalled the NQC program for my LucyLeia (she was still all together....Just wasn't connected to her brain ;-)). Then after reconnecting her up and running the program, I noticed she switch which side of her that she was putting the colors on. Taking a wild guess that this might have to do with the orientation of the Lego block with the wire was plugged onto the RCX, I turned it by 90 degrees so that the wire was now running off the side instead of the bottom, like I had first reconnected it. Ran the program again. And Exciting stuff....she switched back to the sides that she was dropping them before, when I first had connected her up.

Time since last post: 2 hours
Overall: 33 hours 25 minutes

Still Trouble Shooting....

To continue on from where I was yesterday....With the lovely error of not being able to find the classes....This is where I started today....I have since tried multiple things to try and solve that error, which it seems that I may have. I know receive an error of not finding the Tower. Specifically: "error while downloading: Tower error: write failure". But let us back track and see what I did to get here.

  • Multiple deleting of files and recopying: I have deleted the folder that I had put the leGOS files into. Copied over straight the newer 3 version with no version 2 files in the folder. Still getting the error. Deleted files again copied over version 2 files and then copied over only one file from version 3, in hopes that that would take care of both the former problem (that was corrected with version 3) and the new one. And then reverted back to only having version 3 files in the folder.
  • Our friend Google, linked me out to a forum, where someone mentioned that to fix their problem they had to change the RCXTTY =USB variable to all lower case. So I tried that with my RCXTTY=COM variable...after making it lower case and putting a 1 directly behind it (and a couple of good old reboots), I got a new error....
"error while downloading: Tower error: bad ir link"....Have yet to google this one or try changing out the battery but from what I have read the IR tower is only suppose to be turned on when transmitting data or when the green light is on. So I have not yet pursued that route.

Time for today: 2 hours
Overall: 31 hours 25 minutes

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Working with leGOS

As I said in the last post, I started by getting the firmware downloaded to the RCX unit. That was successful. I then continued on in the tutorial by typing out the testing code (in Notepad ++ of course). The typing out went fine ;-).....Things are looking grand....then comes the "head banging error" you know the type....."Why are you giving me that? I "thought" I followed everything to a T"....Very well time for....Google....What errors did I get you ask? Well lets see.....

  • Can't find the lejosjc.bat Problem: setting the variable properly
  • Can't find javac (being called by the lejosjc.bat) Problem: once again setting a variable properly (Can you tell that I typically don't have to do that all that often?)
  • javac: target release 1.1 conflicts with default source release 1.5 Took the error code and used our good friend Google....came upon a website that suggested using leGOS 3 (which according to the website is a release candidate...), I unzipped the downloaded zip file and copied the new files over to the original legos folder. (Note: I did not delete out everything from that folder but just told it to replace what had the same name with the new data)


(I do realize that it is somewhat hard to read the lovely command line picture....but I thought that I would go ahead and add it. I also realize that the user name is blacked out...that is to protect the identity of the computer ;-))

I then reset paths and this allowed me to "compile" the program. I did run into a small error, but that was a typing error on my part. After finding said error, fixing it and saving the file. It compiled for me quite well.

Now comes the part when we download it to the RCX unit, Right? Of course not....now comes the time where we go back to trouble shooting because we get more errors....
What error(s) are we getting you ask?
"error while linking: No classes specified"
Google here we come....
To solve this lovely little error, I have tried putting in the CLASSPATH (again) and googling it. I have yet to find the fix on Google. And that is where I am now...thinking that I would possibly get to stop with success and yet getting to puzzle it over....

The JOYS of Programming :-D

Time since last post: 1 hour 45 minutes
Overall: 29 hours 25 minutes

Moving Right Along......to JAVA

Just thought that I would update everyone out there watching the blog that I am now starting to work with Java for programming the RCX. I have set it up and downloaded the firmware to the RCX, now on to how to program in the RCX. I am following the information on this site. The leGOS from what I can tell provides the tools so that the RCX can understand the java bite code. I have begun by using the tutorial that is provided on the website.

Time since last post: 50 minutes
Overall: 27 hours 40 minutes

LucyLeia

So yesterday after posting on Luke, I broke him down and built up a new Robot: LucyLeia. Her purpose in life is to sort 1x2 Lego bricks by color. Depending on the color depends on which side she puts them on and what sound she makes.

Here is the main component of her. On the top is the motor, which moves her arm. The next brick with the wire, down is the touch sensor, which allows her to figure out where the holes are in the arm to all the Lego bricks to slide through the arm and move them to one side of her or another. The bottom wire in the picture is the light sensor. It is this sensor that allows her to figure out which color the brick is. The light sensor has a red LED that provides constant light, so by making the dark tunnel, the light sensor readings should be pretty close each time.

Here she is on her stand which allows the bricks to slide down, hit the light sensor, which activates code to move her arm and make the right noise.





Here is a video of her in action. (Make sure that the volume is on so that you can hear her make noise) ;-)


video

The coding of LucyLeia was in NQC. One of the interesting things about her code that I found, was that Baum took advantage of the NQC code and used "toggle" to move the arm in the opposite direction, after it had dropped the Lego. Because I ran into problems with some of the 1x2 bricks in the Mindstorms set, because of holes, I brought some of my own in. This provided me with the opportunity to use more than two colors of bricks. To see if LucyLeia could tell the colors a part, I programmed her to make certain sounds, depending on the color of the brick.

Time worked since last post: 2 hours 30 minutes
Overall: 26 hours 50 minutes

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Introducing the one that I shall call Luke

Added an update about him going in circles underneath the first video.
Yesterday after the last post, I began work on a new model of Robot. The purpose behind this robot is pretty similar to the Bumper Bug, he bumps into something, he changes direction. The reason though that I wanted to build this Robot from Baum's book is because to turn the wheels it only takes one motor, unlike the previous ones which would take two. The problem with the robot taking two motors to move is that it takes up all of my motors so then I can't have another one to be able to do other neat features with.

This Robot once again goes with a "three" wheel approach.

The structure on the left is what the back wheels are attached to. By looking inside you can see the gear structure that turns the back wheels.

This is the ratchet, which locks the left wheel up, when going backwards or turning. This allows the robot to be able to turn with only one motor. In the earlier models of the robots, one of the motors would be turned off, when the robot needed to turn.



The finished project.



Videos of him running around...

video
He seems to enjoy running around in circles.... I think that he might enjoy going around in circles in this video because his front wheel is not pointed straight a head.....

video
Here he ran himself up the table foot and ended up sitting on his rear.

Time Since last post: 2 hours 10 minutes
Overall: 23 hours 50 minutes

Monday, January 12, 2009

Working NQC Code...With Caleb Tricycle

So exciting news...okay maybe not so exciting...same robot doing same things...but once again with different code.

To code Caleb Tricycle this time, I used the NQC code that was mentioned in the last post. What I enjoy about this code is that it is taking me back to the good old writing of code, not the "dragging and placing" of code. Being able to comment what I was doing, writing the code in Notepad++ :-D

video

So believe it or not, he was running just fine before I got my camera out...apparently he is camera shy. What I noticed though, when he couldn't find the line was that he just kept going back and forth, then into doing circles. So if I can come up with some brilliant way to get him to realize that he is in the middle of the circle, when he is...then I might add it to the code. But as I have limited time this J-term and more to do, I will probably go on and continue learning, coming back to it if time/or a brilliant idea jumps into my head.

Time Since Last Post: 1 hour 20 minutes
Time for today: 3 hours 20 minutes
Time overall: 21 hours 40 minutes

A new week begins...With new programming environments

This morning I began to download some different environments to program in for the RCX unit. I decided to start with using Not Quite C (NQC), which is described in good detail in Baum's book.

When I first tried to download NQC test code to the RCX unit, I once again received a dreaded IR error, of not being able to transmit. Having received these sort of errors in the Lego environment that came with the Lego set, I began to use the same techniques that I had used there. Starting with the classic trouble shooting technique of restarting the computer. That didn't work. Next up, can I get it to transmit a program to the RCX through the Lego environment. Nope. Check the cable, securely plugged in from what I could tell. Tried restarting the Lego environment with the RCX unit turned on. Once again got no where. And after all of this trouble shooting, what did I figure out? That some how when I am remoted into the computer, I can NOT get the IR transmitter to transmit the programs to the RCX. So that means that I have to go over to the actual server to be able to get it transmit. Hopefully this will be the last post with this problem....

I tried to jump into programming RCX for the current robot that is built, but in looking at the code in the book, I decided that I might need to go do the reading at the beginning of the book, so that I will have a better idea of how to modify it for the line follower design by Knudsen. The biggest difference from what I can tell, is that Knudsen used wheels and Baum used the treads. In many ways I am excited to be getting into NQC because it is putting me back into a good old command line programming interface, versus the Graphical User Interface, which I am having problems completing understanding what I am telling the Robot to do.

Time So far today: 2 hours
Overall: 20 hours 20 minutes (Cool Time!) :-D

Friday, January 9, 2009

Caleb Tricycle...Different Code...Same purpose....That worked....

Note: There is a picture of the code added to this post....
So before we get to the video, I thought that I would share a picture of what I did to help flatten out a crease in the black line track (which had caused me problems)...The books that are shown there are the books that I have been using to learn about the Lego Robot. That was done while I was on a short break from the studies. It did seem to make a difference.



Here is the video of the working code that was suggest by Baum.

video

Baum's idea of getting the Robot to follow the line was not to directly follow the black line but the edge of the line. This way the if the sensor got values for the black line, the robot could turn accordingly. Or if the sensor sent values for the white part of the track, it would then turn the other way.



Both of the programs, give me the same result but I did notice that with Baum's algorithm that Caleb Tricycle didn't swing as far out as with Knudsen's algorithm.

Another note...one of the things that I found interesting was that the Robot was still able to run its program, when it began to run off of the mat because the carpet was dark enough...This is at the end of the video.

I worked about 30 minutes organizing the Legos, so that I had a good idea of where to find different pieces.

Time worked since last post: 1 hour
Total for today: 4 hours 10 minutes
Overall: 18 hours 20 minutes

Caleb Tricycle...Different Code...Same purpose....Needs adjustment

So only showing the successful programming code, would be unfair to people...since that is not really real world. I have now have downloaded a piece of code into Caleb Tricycle that does not work...Here are the results.....

video

I believe that the reason for this problem has to do with the numbers that are used by the robot coming from the light sensor are not set right. Basically, I need to go back and work with Caleb Tricycle to try and achieve numbers that allow him to turn according to what the light sensor says.

Why is this being posted after the successful post about Caleb Tricycle? Because I read in the Baum book about a different algorithm to use for a line follower and decided to try it with my modified Knudsen design. So right now...He just likes to run straight a head.

A quick note about the downloading problem....I am wondering if I am having the problem because the computer is some how getting confused, when I am switching back and forth from remote desktop to directly on the desktop. Just a guess....the last two times I downloaded a program, I was able to download it without restarting the Computer.

Back to program to try and figure out the numbers.

Hours worked since last post: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total for today: 3 hours 10 minutes
Overall: 17 hours 20 minutes

Tricycle...Continued

After reading Baum's book on the design of his line follower, I decided to modify the design of the robot to help keep as much outside light from the sensor as possible this is what I came up with....


I lowered the Light sensor by using a flat Lego piece, I then surround the light sensor with other Legos making sure that they didn't have holes that would allow light in. If they did, I used another flat Lego to cover up the hole. The picture on the far left shows what I ended up using to block out the light, I had run out of the wrap around Lego pieces that I used in the right picture, because I had used one to let the light sensor point down. The picture in the middle is what it looked like before.

I followed the program that was set out in Knudsen's book. The numbers in this picture are not the numbers I ended up using with the program, I started out with the numbers that are given in the book. Then adjusted them as I saw when using a guided mode in the Programming environment.


I once again ran into a problem of getting the program to download to the RCX, this time I decided to restart the computer and make sure that the RCX was on near the beginning of bringing up the program on the machine. It then transferred just fine and allowed me to use a mode to test the code to find out numbers that I needed to be able to tell when the sensor was picking up dark verse light. I was also able download the program a couple of times in order make adjustments to the numbers.

After watching the program run on the Robot, I had the thought that his back wheel reminded me of a dog's tail. I decided then that I should adjust his name to Caleb Tricycle...since Caleb means dog. So here is Caleb Tricycle running...including running off of the mat with the black trail that it is following. The mat came with the Lego Set.

video
Hours worked today: 2 hours
Hours overall: 16 hours 10 minutes

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Second Robot: Tricycle built for Line Followin'

So after Success with the Bumper bug...I read some more in the books and saw what they had to say. I like the Knudsen book best, I think, because it does a good job of getting you active and then explaining higher concepts, behind design and mechanics of building good robots. So in reading some more from it in after building bumper bug, I found that it was repeating some of what I had already read in the introduction of the Baum book. I also looked at the Baum book on what they had to say on building a bumper robot (one that knows to back up and try a different direction). The concepts were pretty close to the same although they had taken a slightly different route making the bumper and also had example code in another programming environment, which I am planning on coming back to for my final project.


I then moved on to building a new robot....which meant that there was some slight sadness as bumper bug had to be dismantled, in order to get the RCX and other parts that I had used on it. I am once again in the Knudsen book, following their building and programming guide

Here is the what I am calling the Tricycle at one of his beginning stages:

He has gotten his free movin' leg attached, but no motors. The white wheel object is part of what was left at the time of bumper bug, it is connected to part of the base that I had taken the RCX unit off of and hadn't need to fully get into other of its parts.


What Tricycle looked like most of the time while being built, flat on his back. Or on the face of the RCX unit. I believe that he is in the same state as the above picture, only in a different angle. On a side note: I would like to bring your attention to the grey tool on the bottom right corner of picture, it is a tool that helps you take a part the lego bricks...Saving my fingers from great pain in the taking a part of creations.


He has now been given his "nose", where the light sensor will go and the motors that will provide the energy/turning motion for his wheels. The light sensor part is how Tricycle will be able to tell if he is on a black line or not.


Here is the finished product of building the Robot. The big wheels are in front of the motors (there is one directly across for the one in the picture). The light sensor is the blue brick. The black bricks on the RCX unit that have wires coming out of them is how the RCX communicates with the Light Sensor and the Motors.

I have started the programming processes for Tricycle in the computer and believe that I am almost done. With this program, Knudsen is directing me through using subroute in the programming in the Lego Environment. He also brought up a point in the programming section on this robot that I would like to mention and that was: you need to prepare for the worst. I think that I already knew this, because part of robotics is the need for the robot to be able to communicate with the world and the world is not a science labitory. So in programming this robot to follow a black line, we can't just assume that if he doesn't sense the line that he needs to turn the opsite way that he did before to find it because the line could be curved. Therefore in this program, we will use a timer in order for the robot to know when he needs to turn the other way to try and find the line again.

Time spent after last time logged: 3 hours
Total for Today: 4 hours 40 minutes
Overall: 14 hours 10 minutes

"Running Robot"

video

So for those of you who hear my voice very softly....I am simply talking to myself in the excitement of seeing the Robot move around or wondering at what it is doing.

The first object that he bumps into is my lunch bag, then he starts to go over to a wall but doesn't bump into it...turns and starts going underneath the table, which I was impressed that it got the right angle to be able to go between the feet. I then stopped the recording because it was headed to feet that it was going to run into and it was going backwards. What you don't get to see before I turned the robot off, was that after trying to push himself backwards, he then changed his direction and tried to go a different way.

I have now worked another 40 minutes for today, bring today's total to 1 hour and 40 minutes.
Overall: 11 hours 10 minutes

Excitement Abounds!!!!!

Great news....the program downloaded...at least everything showed that it downloaded....now to snap the robot's 2 large pieces together and test it out. :-D

Trouble Shooting......With more that should be coming later today....

So I worked for about 30 minutes this morning on trying to figure out what is going on, why I can't get the program to transfer to the RCX. To show some other readers out there, who are not familiar with the set up....


The yellow brick is the RCX unit shown in another the post. The black unit standing up, is the IR transimitter, which is hooked up to the computer. The connection that it uses is a 9-pin serial connection (My guess what be that new models of the Lego Robots are now coming with USB connection....to answer a question of how it connects to the computer....according to the help that is linked in the next paragraph).

In the sense of trying to figure out why stuff won't transfer, I have tried googling the error message and got what I felt was very little help.... Try inserting new batteries into the RCX unit.....So Right now...This is what my "built" robot looks like.....


Two large pieces....because the battery section is on the bottom of the RCX, which makes sense for the buttons need to go on top....but it is a pain to change batteries then once the robot is built.

When that didn't work yesterday, I took books home with me to see if I could figure anything out. While since the message that I was getting was about the IR transmitter, I thought that maybe it some how drained its battery and needed a new one. So that is where I started this morning: Changing the 9 volt battery. I also checked the computer to make sure that the Device Manger was showing the port working (it was) and then told it to check for a new driver update (nothing was out there that was better....according to Windows)

The good news is that I got the IR transmitter to transfer the firmware to the RCX (it had "disappeared" since the batteries must have been out of the RCX unit for longer than a minute). Evidence:


The green light that is showing is blinks and lights up when the IR transmitter is transmitting data.

The numbers keep adding one while the firmware is transferring.

And that is all the farther I have gotten so far, as I had to run and go do something for a couple of hours....I am now back and am going to try to convince the software on the computer, the IR transmitter and the RCX unit to all work together and transfer the program!

Time Worked So far today: 1 hour
Time worked over all: 10 hours 30 minutes

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

What I call the "Bumper Bug"

The continued building of the Lego Robot of Yesterday.

After the adding of the RCX unit and the trends for the Robot to be able to move.
Side view of up above.
The motors have been added, which allow the Robot to move.
This is the final product of several hours of searching for pieces and building the Robot.
The touch sensors are behind the yellow bars that are wrapping around the Robot. This allows the touch sensor to have a wider ability of sensing, since on the Lego block (underneath the black blocks with wires) have less than an inch for what gets pushed back into the block.


With following the Knudsen as a guide for how to build a robot, I have been impressed with the design of the Robot, since it is not how I would have gone about it. In the book, he brought me through building the robot and then programming it in the environment. Most likely I would have programmed the robot on how I wanted it to move and then built it to go with the program. It was also interesting to see how he had me reinforce the build of the robot to make it more sturdy.

Programming in the Lego Environment. I found that beginning to do the programming was a little bit difficult as I had to figure out how to put the commands together. The ability to drag and click allowed me to write the program quickly by following the example in the Knudsen's book.

While the Robot is built and the program has been written and saved, I have run into an error that I will have to go figure out what is going on. The problem: The IR transmitter can't be found. Which means that I can't get the program right now from the computer to the RCX. I will be researching it so I can continue and see the Robot Work. In trying to diagnose the problem, I have googled the error message and found some help, but the suggestions tried haven't made a difference yet.

Hours Worked So far today: 5 hours
Hours overall: 9 hours 30 minutes

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Day 2...More Reading and the beginning of Building :-D

Today was spend doing quite a bit of reading from Baum's book. He does a really good job introducing the RIS.
I will be doing a quick overview of what I learned today from my reading, then I will be showing the beginning of building one of the Robot models in the Knudsen book.



For the RCX (the brain):

  • The programming code is not compiled into an assembly code like you might think. It actually compiled into byte codes that are read by the firmware in the RCX brick. Which makes the RCX able to maintain a safe and reliable environment.
  • The program it can hold 10 tasks, which are a list of instructions for the Robot.
  • Subroutines are a way to call code within a task that you do not want to write directly into a task or that you might want to call over again.
  • The variables that are used in the Lego code, are global and can be used in any task. But the value that it will hold will be the last one that was assigned it.
  • There are three output ports with three modes: on, off, floating. The floating mode means that no energy is going to the motor but that it is allowed to spin freely.
  • Sensors come in two different types with the basic model of the kit: touch and light.
  • The touch sensor has a button that gets pushed in by something and then sends a signal.
  • The light sensor uses a phototransistor in order to sense light. It also can sense colors by this sensor. The light sensors are know to be picky and can cause the need to readjust code in order for it to work properly.
  • The RCX keeps track of time from the moment that it is turned on.
  • The datalog that it can keep can be loaded onto a computer in order to be able to see it.
  • It will automatically shut itself down after a certain amount of time, even if it is running a program.
Now for some pictures of the beginning of the Robot.....
I am following a design in the Knudsen book. I have found the pictures to be helpful in constructing a good base. Although because they are black and white and on regular paper, some of the details can be hard to figure out at first, making you back track with the snapping together of pieces.




Hours Worked: 2.5

Monday, January 5, 2009

First Day of "Hands On" Exploring....If you can call it that

Looking at Robots:

Some quick background in Robots, according to Knudsen.
A robot has five fundamental Components:

  1. A Brain or a computer
  2. A body, which holds the pieces together
  3. Actuators, which allow the robot to move
  4. Sensors, which allow the robot to work with its surroundings
  5. Power Source
When you get into mobile robots, you have tethered robots and autonomous robots. The main difference between the two is whether or not the robot carries everything with it (autonomous) or if it is tethered to a power source and/or a computer.

Today I spent a good amount of time reading the beginning/introduction chapters of the two books plus getting firmware onto the RCX Unit.

To help people get a better idea of what I am working with:
I am using an older Lego MindStorms Robotic Invention System (RIS).
The brain of the Robot will be the RCX 1.0.
It has two motors so that it can move around in the world. The two types of sensors that it has are touch sensors and light sensors.

Total Hours Spent on Project: 2 Hours

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