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Autonomous Routine Testing

A project log for Robot Missions

Makers and Environmentalists collecting shoreline debris using a robot platform

Erin RobotGrrlErin RobotGrrl 09/27/2016 at 03:140 Comments

In order to reach the larger goal of making the robot more efficient than a human at collecting shoreline debris, it will require autonomous behaviours. The first step will be to make the sequence of moves required.

We created two modes, here is a video of them in action:

Both modes begin with a home position - with the arm and claw up. Code update can be seen here

Mode #1

Mode #1 uses the scoop as a way to move across the sand. The idea behind this is that with another type of end-effector, perhaps a rake, this will be effective to collect items that are flexible and light - such as candy wrappers.

Sequence of moves:

- Arm down

- Claw down

- Backwards (2s)

- Stop

- Arm up

- Claw up

- Forward (1.5s)

- Turn right (0.2s)

- Stop

Mode #2

Mode #2 uses the scoop to collect some sand, and move it to a different location. In the next version, the movement of it will be at a specific GPS waypoint.

It was interesting to watch a pattern being created in the sand. Timelapse video:

Sequence of moves:

- Turn right (2s)

- Stop

- Arm down

- Claw down

- Forward (1s)

- Turn right (0.2s)

- Turn left (0.2s)

- Stop

- Backward (0.2s)

- Claw up

- Arm up

- Turn right (1s)

- Arm down

-- 3x:

-- Claw far down

-- Claw up

- Arm up a small amount

Results

The iteration of the code was incredibly useful to do in the field because we were able to adjust and see the timing of the steps. For example, in Mode #2, we noticed that the scooping results improved (more sand in the scoop) when the wheels turned the robot (and scoop) slightly, twice.

The top 3 items that can be improved for next time are:

- Implementing functions for basic robot operations in the code

- Using the ultrasonic sensors for obstacle detection

- Adding a sensor to receive feedback from the scoop end effector about where it is in relation to the ground

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