NXT-Spy – First successful implementation of the ball finding / catching.

Today is a big day for this project, the robot now manages to find balls and to catch them on its own.
In fact, all last week problems are solved: A ball of Blu-Tack solved the balancing problem and the solution I thought about last week to solve the lag problem worked quite well, in fact, apart the fact that the robot is moving very slowly, it manages to find balls quite efficiently.
So here is the video that shows the success of the experiment (I accelerated the video of 200% because the robot is operating very slowly):

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

Today, I also did some testing in the white environment and figured out that Data Matrix 2D barcodes worked way better than the QR code as they are way less complex. I am even wandering why I chose QR codes the first time… maybe because it is more beautiful 🙂

Supervisor’s comment:

Well done; how about finding the Blue and Red corners?  They work most of the time but because the flag goes out of view it makes it hard to know when you have reached the corner.
Has also written up the report so far as he is not here next week.  So he has done two week’s work in one!!!!

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 – 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