Sunday, August 14, 2011

A few outdoor tests, a few more problems...

Since there was no rain in the forecast today, I decided to take the robot out around the front lawn for a few tests.

I have decided to hold off on buying an old mower and hooking it up until I am sure the control/video feed will be adequate to drive this around the lawn with a mower attached... There are still a few problems to overcome. (More on that later).

The first video below is a description in pretty good detail of all of the components and how they work together on the robot.

This video is the second part, and gives some detail on driving the robot around, and a bit of a demonstration.

As you'll notice in the videos, I didn't compensate at all for the shakiness of the video feed... I mean it makes sense now. Fixed Camera + Bumpy terrain = Bumpy Camera. I'd prefer a software solution to fix the video's shakiness real-time. They are plenty of great options for post processing (Virtualdub and Deshaker), but those won't do me much good since I need a real-time stream.

I might be able to build a stabilizer that will help a bit, but thats my plan B for now.

The other problem right now with the robot is the oversenstivity of the joystick. I plan to correct this by replacing joystick control with an old PC steering wheel and brake/gas pedals. Right now though, its at the bottom of the list since it'll be an easy drop in fix, whereas the video takes a bit more thinkin'.

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