Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A new video

As you can see in the following video, the eeePC now operates the robot. However, there are some issues. Since it's not nearly as powerful as the Macbook Pro, I had to reduce the resolution of the input image. This makes the line-finding less precise. Also, it's not yet tuned properly, so you can see it tends to overcorrect and constantly be "bouncing" off the sides of the course. You can see as it rounds the curve that the guidance picks up the left line of the course as the right line by accident, causing it to run between the two sides of the U-shaped course. Needs some work.

video

eeePC up and running

Lately I've been a bit busy, but there's been some progress. The eeePC now has full functionality and can operate the vehicle in place of the Macbook Pro. Here are some pics:

First, the eeePC with the screen shut on its new aluminium tray on the Stampede. Note the webcam between the two front springs. It's a USB2 Logitech Quickcam Deluxe for Notebooks. It's got a glass lens and no autofocus. (Autofocus can play havoc with vision software, as autofocus will change the image's focus without warning.)

This shot shows the eeePC with the screen open. This setup means that I can walk behind the robot and see what it's seeing: this is very useful for debugging the guidance. The grey USB cable goes to the microcontroller. The black USB cable goes to the camera.

The chassis remains largely unchanged. The computer tray attaches to the four body posts that used to hold the lexan truck body on. It can be removed by taking out the four retaining clips. A piece of scrap lexan from a keyboard's packaging makes a small tray to hold the Arduino microcontroller (blue, on right side of vehicle) and the wire breakout board (green, left side of vehicle).