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


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