Ok, I know that getting a robot to follow a person around is something that can be done numerous ways, but I'm wondering if anyone has experience using these techniques outdoors in various light conditions? I'm designing a large 'bot that can follow someone around a yard, like a wagon carrying stuff.
I'm thinking that the simplest method would be to make a small clip on IR LED module that would "strobe" a pre-set pattern, which the bot could follow like a photovore. My question is this...do you think such a system would be reliable even in bright sunlight? Also, are there any particular software or hardware techniques to prevent "confusion" if the IR light gets reflected off another surface, such as glass, water or metal?
I'm willing to entertain other options if you want to suggest them, but I am a novice programmer and want to keep it simple. I would also prefer a system that works at night without being obnoxious...I.e. I would prefer not to use visible strobes. The platform will be a 6 wheeled differential drive bot, a simple box approximately 18" x 18" x 38"...plenty of battery power and plenty of room for sensors.
I appreciate any advice you might have!