User:Brian P. Josey/Notebook/2009/10/12
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I tinkered with the robot over the weekend and played with the programming to get to were I am now. I feel pretty confident with doing simple things with the robot, as long as it does not extend past moving in certain patterns and responding to one sensor at a time. I would like to keep going to the point were it could track a moving object or person, and consider more than one stimuli simultaneously.
I have the basic framework for what I need to move the razor blades to block the laser. The program is really, really simple. In total the whole program is an infinite loop that contains a wait for button press block, move forward block, another wait block, and finally a move backwards block. This translates into the computer waiting for the touch sensor to be pressed, when it is, the computer moves forward and waits again. After the touch sensor is pressed a second time the robot then moves back. It's really simple, now all I have to do is come up with the hardware needed.
I considered a couple of ways to approach the physical movements of the razors. My idea is to have two "fingers" on either side of the razor blades. When the robot pushes it forward, both fingers would open with the back one pushing the razors forward. Then to pull the razors closer, the fingers will close with the front one pulling in on the blades. This way one finger will be responsible for movement in each direction, but they will be opening and closing in unison. Another idea is to have it move like a train, with movement in one direction pushing the razor blades forward, will movement in the opposite direction pulls it back. The last idea was proposed by my brother who argued that it would be a simple to just have the whole robot move the blades back and forth by attaching to them, and moving the whole thing as one. Unfortunately, I do not have enough time to deal with this problem now, I have to go to class very soon, and I will return to it tomorrow.