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January 2, 2012

Outdoor Robot gets (somewhat) smarter

Filed under: Robots,Software — Bob @ 6:36 pm

My Outdoor Robot project got some attention recently, now utilizing the ultrasonic sensors at the front to avoid obstacles. I’m still running it very slowly, so I can learn from watching it without having to run to catch it. I’ve implemented a subsumption architecture in the software that has a few simple behaviors:

  1. Startup: waits for a button press, and only allows for one minute runtime.
  2. Avoidance: using the front-facing ultrasonic sensors, turn away from obstacles. The turn is proportional to the distance to the obstacle.
  3. Cruising: run straight ahead at the maximum (slow, at this point) speed.

In the videos below you can see this happening. There really isn’t a lot of “smarts” to the software, although it looks pretty good while running. Next up is to get the “remote stop” working then I’ll increase the speed. I also need to work on behaviors for when the robot gets itself into a corner e.g. backup and turn around.

Enjoy these videos for now!

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