Project update, again – Wall Avoidance/path finding?

I’ve been working with the robot for about 3 months now, even though I’ve only been blogging about it for about 2 1/2, and getting this robot to solve a maze has been tons of fun and I’ve learned a lot. However, I’ve been thinking. With the science fair I’m planning to enter this in less than 2 weeks away, and me without a maze-solving robot, I don’t think I’m going to have a finished product in time.

So, I’m re-focusing the project. Yes, it seems like it would be the exact opposite of what I want to do, but I think I will be able to complete this project and have it usable sooner than I would the maze solving. And, if you think about it, it really isn’t solving any maze. The robot is simply going along until it sees something, and then turning to the side that has the longest distance. I’m not abandoning the maze-solving robot entirely, I just think it would be better if I go for something more reasonable for the fair. And so, the robot project, at least for now, is changing to wall avoidance/path finding.

It shouldn’t be too complicated to re-code really. I’ll just have the code, instead of figuring how to turn to the longer distance, figure how to keep about the middle between two walls and follow the path between the walls, making its way down a path from start to finish autonomously.

Another reason why I’m changing the project is because getting the maze large enough to be of any interest, and still accommodate the robot and its turn radius, would make the maze simply massive. I think a simple track that the robot follows from start to finish will be much easier to make, as well as more compact, as size is an issue. And, speaking of size being an issue, the chassis I have right now has gotten huge, much to large for this project.

So, yet again, I am re-designing the chassis, or at least hoping to. Actually, I’m just following the design by Foxytronics on the tutorial I followed originally. The new design is from the re-done tutorial on the site, which can be accessed here. Here’s a picture of what I want to do:
robot-chassis-foxytronics_2nd

and this is the Lego chassis (that I’ve been promising, sorry it took so long and sorry for the terrible quality):

chassis-lego1 chassis-lego2

Obviously, the foxytronics model is A) Much more compact and B) looks better. I will have to figure out how to attach all 3 sensors, but beyond that I think this project is a go!

Hopefully I can get these changes rolled out in time for the science fair. Onward for progress!

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