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Author Topic: Autonomous Robot Project Help  (Read 659 times)

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Offline jag0097wtfTopic starter

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Autonomous Robot Project Help
« on: January 27, 2013, 01:12:41 PM »
Hi everyone! I'm new to this forum (this is my first post) and would like to ask for some help with a project that I have started (not sure if this is the right place to post this though).
 
Overview:
I want to make an autonomous robot that can move around by itself and detect and avoid obstacles (think iRobot or Roomba style).
 
Reason for doing this:
I am really interested in the field of robotics and thus want to get into it well. So I picked this project as it is very fun so I can not only make it but also learn from the experience, such as making circuits, coding, designing the actual robot, the mechanics and whatever else is required to make it tick. I am mostly a beginner. My experience with coding goes as far as basic Python (covering all the main techniques such as variables and functions to lists etc.) and a little HTML. As far as circuitry goes, I am comfortable building things like temperature sensors etc or a simple 555 timer or using a PIC chip (I use the circuit wizard software).
 
My Question:
Could you guys help by giving me ideas as to how I should do this. For example, what components I would need, example programs, websites where I can learn more etcetera etcetera. I don't expect this to be easy, and since I am doing this to learn, I am willing to learn new languages or using software etc. and electronic concepts.

Also I read some of the wavefront pathfinding which sounds like something helpfull for my project but i don't know how to get started with it. What software do I need, what equipment ( I don't have an iRobot Create) etc.
 
I hope that is comprehensive enough!  :)

Offline jwatte

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Re: Autonomous Robot Project Help
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2013, 01:45:48 PM »
This site has some pretty good robot tutorials -- check them out! Start with the $50 robot.
The site arduino.cc has lots of helpful programming tutorials.

For obstacle avoidance, the "ping" style ultrasonic sensors may work, or you can try the Sharp IR distance sensors.
http://www.pololu.com/catalog/product/1605
http://www.pololu.com/catalog/product/1137

The wavefront algorithm is only useful when you have a well-defined map to pathfind on. Unless you want to digitize your living room into a map, and upload that to your robot, and then have the robot navigate only in that living room, it's unlikely to be helpful to your particular project.

Offline jag0097wtfTopic starter

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Re: Autonomous Robot Project Help
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2013, 12:45:37 PM »
Quote
The site arduino.cc has lots of helpful programming tutorials.

I am using the PIC chip, not the Arduino.

Quote
The wavefront algorithm is only useful when you have a well-defined map to pathfind on. Unless you want to digitize your living room into a map, and upload that to your robot, and then have the robot navigate only in that living room, it's unlikely to be helpful to your particular project.

No this won't be helpfull actuallly. So do you think I should just write a simple program saying like if the sensor detects an obstacle, go the other way, else keep moving in the original direction?


Offline waltr

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Re: Autonomous Robot Project Help
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2013, 10:01:46 PM »
So do you think I should just write a simple program saying like if the sensor detects an obstacle, go the other way, else keep moving in the original direction?

Yep, not very hard to do with almost any PIC. My first Bot did that and used a PIC16F84, DIY H-bridges with feed-back PWM speed controlled and two 'whisker' switches as 'bump' sensors. Code was written in Assembler using Microchips free MPLAB.
A later Bot used a PIC16F873 and another a PIC18F2610. These use an dual H-bridge chip and gear motors from Pololu and Sharp sensors for object detection. The 'F873 code is written in assembler and the 'F2610 in HiTech C.

Look around for some examples. There is even a few of us here on SoR that use PICs.

 


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