NXT-Spy – Writing & coding week

This week, I have written 3 pages on the robot engineering and two pages about image recognition for the dissertation and finished to code the ball sorting controller, I now have to test it in its environment…

Supervisor’s comment:

OK he was on the 48 hours let’s build a game!!!!!!!!!  which he seems to have done quite well.
So now it is back to the project!!

NXT-Spy – Robotic arm testing

Now that the robotic arm was engineered, I needed to do test it in real conditions (controlled from the PC over the phone) and see how well it can work when the robot is actually going forward on a ball to pick it. After some slight modifications on the arm to optimize it, I managed to make to arm working perfectly. Here is a video I did on my kitchen table that shows the result of the experiment.

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Itx_N-mG9TM’]

Supervisor’s comment:

Very impressive, we now know that the robot can pick up and deposit a ball.
Has done some writing but has been ill.
Jon has got all the bits needed to build the environment.
Robot starts at home position finds a single ball, picks it up and returns to the home position.
Then add the ability to deposit ball in correct corner.  (This will perhaps be the biggest challenge in robotic control.
Then add a second different coloured ball and deposit it.
Then many balls.

NXT-Spy – Some distance / height calculation

In order to create the environment in which the robot will work, we needed to know how high the robot could see based on its distance from a wall.
To do so, I did 5 measurements from 5 different distances of a wall and concluded the related linear equation.
Note: because I didn’t have a ruler at the time of the experiment (nor any of my flatmate!), I worked with objects with standard dimensions (a credit card and A4 sheets).

Distance from the wall (cm) Visible height on the wall (cm)
29.7 16.35
59.4 24.302
89.1 34.24
118.8 43.8
148.5 51.36

So the approximate equation is : y = 0.3014x + 7.155 where y is the height on the wall and x the distance between the robot and the wall

Supervisor’s comment:

Cloth to cover base board and card for edges was obtained, which together with corner supports made an environment for the robot to operated within.  The environment was white so as to aid the detection of the coloured balls.

29.7 16.35
59.4 24.302
89.1 34.24
118.8 43.8
148.5 51.36

NXT-Spy – A new year = A new robot

This new robot has got an amazing working arm and it has a new phone holder that allows us to put the phone way lower than before and to have a centered camera (there was an issue with the fact that the camera was on one of the side of the robot)

Supervisor’s comment:

The newly engineered robot is able to pick up and deposit a ball extremely well.  I am most impressed.  The interesting bit in fact is the release of the ball and this appears to have been engineered very well.
The environment in which the robot will operate has to be carefully designed to fit with the operational characteristics of the robot.
The next task is to finish the control algorithm!
Write a chapter on the engineering of the robot and its environment