In the End… How the project went

10 Dec

So here it is. The end of what can only be described of one of the most infuriating projects I’ve ever been involved in. It had problems from the start to the finish, but it taught some valuable lessons that I will talk about now. The first thing is that the project was not set in stone. This means that we did not have clear defined objectives and clear methods that we should use to get to those objects. For example we did not know initially that the robots would paint.



Problems Discovered

5 Dec

So during the designing and building of this robot, there were inevitable problems. Some of them have been hard to manage while others weren’t soo simple…

The first issue that was experienced with this was getting the the URM37 libraries to work… After much trial and error and reading of spec sheet I had to give up with the library method and to get the URM to work i had to use the PWM method which does not use TX and RX.

Another big issue involved the two sensors… the IR sensors when coded caused a BIG issue with the ARDUINO serial and because of this the arduino would not be detected by the computer through usb. To remedy the situation, I had to put the arduino board in “DFU” mode by simply bridging two pins

(Guide can be found here: )

Apart from those issues we experienced problems having to do with the IR sensor(did NOT know light affected it.. silly me) so I had problems measuring the distance of objects from the start.

That is a small amount of problems we had!

Finished Building Now the CODE

4 Oct

Now coding is one of my favorite aspects of computers! why? because simple its the most fun because you have control, you use your imagination, your vision, your creativity and you build a masterpiece. being able to harness to power of C or C# or C++ to solve a program on the computer is one of the most productive and interesting things, a computer enthusiast can do.

So what exactly does coding for the robotics project we have entail? well its the type of coding that requires you optimize and fit lots of code into small package! The problem with this part of the robotics project, will be translating our processing designs and java designs into C code that runs faster yet produces the same results.

My plan with this code will be to optimize it using generic algorithms, fast data structures and also i will be able to make my code run faster! The painting situation will also pose many challenges, because one major question is. How can you produce black? That for our project will be an important step. For now that is the single most important thing that matters to our project.

Insights into the NSF proposal

6 Sep

When i read the proposal i was a bit confused because it talked about building a platform. However as i read it more i finally understand what was supposed to be done by us. I like the idea of building this platform that will fuel the creativity of thousands of high school students. The ideas in the proposal are very good and i think that we have a very good opportunity to achieve something big!

I have my ideas as to how to implement the proposals such as a simple challenge response system for managing the robots or a master<->slave configuration for the base robots! with this we could have one main robot responsible for all config data for the robots and then they slave stationary robots would communicate when information was needed… we would also need to have an internal array of all the active robots and where they were in our grid system. Each robot would need to have an id and other identifiable information. If a gridded system was used to hold the robot’s location, then A* could be used along with the internal grid and that would aid navigation despite being complicated for a simple uC. If that fails a simple algorithm can be developed to simply move the robot to the stationary beacon while scanning around for other robots in the way.

This has been just a summary of my ideas dealing with the robotic concepts so far.

Hello world!

4 Sep

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