Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Hacking Session #1

Spent a couple hours in the garage hacking on Pokey to try and improve the wall following. While it is working better, it isn't quite dialed in. Probably the right way to go is to self-calibrate to a target wall distance, hold that while wall following, and execute constant radius turns to maintain that distance within some small error range. That'll take time that I may not have...

One problem, which George M. astutely pointed out at a SHARC meeting many months ago, is that when the robot turns at too steep an angle to the wall, the angle of the sensor to the wall increases dramatically, affecting the accuracy of the distance measurement. So avoiding steep angles is helpful but difficult if the robot gets significantly off course and has short runs of wall. He did have a solution for this issue that I may explore.

As time permits today I'll noodle this over some more and see if I can come up with better solutions. I still think the wall following is key. If the robot can align to a wall and keep a set distance, navigation gets much, much more reliable.

1 comment:

  1. if you can write a reliable function that makes the bot turn 90 degrees left or right, then you could just have it go until it doesn't see the wall anymore. then turn 90 degrees then go forward and try to find the wall again.