Sunday, March 2, 2008

Not Good...

Things are not going so great. After three hacking sessions, I've made a little progress but there's a long way to go. I'm finding that robot coding is quite frustrating. And it's not just me.

The robot can get from the home circle to the floating room. (Or, it can get from the home circle to the room to its right). From the floating room, it can get to the next room if it starts in the correct direction-- pointing out of the floating room.

But stitching these actions together is turning into a big challenge. I am still working out how to properly orient the robot to start and stop scanning a room and how to orient itself to leave a room properly. Doing this without encoders is proving to be quite tough.

On the plus side, the robot can spin and scan (indefinitely) until it detects a candle. It can point at the candle and even move towards it and stop once it's on the regulation white circle surrounding the candle.

I still don't have a fire suppression system built.

Some physical glitches keep coming up that are rather trying. Earlier today, the sensor wires broke loose from the connectors wasting an hour of coding time while I soldered everything back together (burning my hand in the process).

Then one of the power filter capacitors on the LV168 board popped off! Fortunately this isn't having a major impact. I sent a note to Pololu-- they already responded (on a Sunday evening after 5pm, mind you!) with advice. They are going to ship out a replacement board. If I haven't mentioned it lately, Pololu absolutely ROCKS!!

For the second time, a set screw came loose in the geartrain. A little bit of Loctite may be in order.

The weather here was great yesterday making for a pleasant Saturday afternoon of coding.

As is typical of Colorado, everything changed. It snowed today and was pretty cold, windy, and icy. The drive to and from Steve's wasn't too bad, though.

So, here I am, running out of time, I/O pins, ideas, and flash memory...


  1. don't you hate how it takes 10 times as long to finish the last 10%?

  2. Too true!! My big goof up was waiting too long to build the chassis for the competition bot. I had no idea the programming would take so darned long.


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