Monday, May 5, 2008

A mind of it's own

Today is exciting since we finally achieved all of our goals of the original project.

After a brutal day of coding yesterday, in which Kevin and I spend 10 hours figuring out how to send a number over the radio from the yeti to our computer, we conquered the ridiculous. What kevin thought would take him half an hour ended up taking the whole day. The details are not as interesting as the fact that this allowed us to troubleshoot the control system much more easily.

This morning, we fired up Yeti and fed it a GPS coordinate out on the Thule runway. Technically I think we're breaking a lot of rules by driving around and taking photos in a controlled area, but we haven't been shot yet so it's worked out. The first time we tried this, Yeti turned and drove away from the coordinate. A couple more runs revealed that it was not accurate but consistent. Kevin figured out that he had a sign error in his code which would make it run in the opposite direction. After reprogramming it, we gave it another shot and Yeti locked onto its target immediately and drove straight to it.

We spent the rest of the day making more improvements to the motor controllers which will extend yeti's driving rage significantly and eliminates the purr the robot used to make when stopped.

We'll be out in the field tomorrow so we'll have some more interesting pictures and video.


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