Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Time to get organized....

So, where to start? There seems like there's so much to do to undertake a project like this. I'm guessing the first thing to do is outline the overall objectives which admittedly are quite large;
At the proverbial end of the day I'd like to have learned how to program in RobotC and really mastered RoboLab. Also to have taken a Robot project from start to finish (and it really is a cold start - We're starting from the ground up with this) and have the documentation in place so that this exercise can be used or adapted in a teaching environment - possibly starting up the Robot Club again.
So, again, where to start?
One of the main objectives I'd like to show is that two Robots can have meaningful communication with one another even if they are programmed in two different languages, using two different firmwares. Their main means of communication will be by light, touch and sound sensors and sources. To do this I plan to program the NXT Robot (NeXTer -programmed in RobotC) to find and lead the RCX Robot (Giskard-programmed in RoboLab) back to the "base".
I would also like to re-design the Robots to make them interchangeable - Hoping to have a design where either the RCX or the NXT brick can be placed in kind of a cradle, hook up the respective cables, load the programs and go.
Designs need to be documented - I'll be loading LDD soon and will begin to record building instructions. Also plan to use photographs. This process will go along with the re-building / redesign.
Design and build advanced sensing & effect apparatus - For example I'd like to build solar powered LED "eyes" and hands with touch sensors capable of identifying what object is placed in the "hand".
Recent updates - On June 12 / 13 moved in to the shop and cleaned up a new table to be used as a test court. The table size is 127cm x 90cm. The table top is currently covered in a heavy brownish paper.
Also, within the last two weeks, downloaded and installed RoboLab 2.9.4 on the SRM Computer. Before that had somewhat put the SRM Computer (henceforth known as the SRMPC) back together. This machine is not connected to the Internet and will serve as the "base" PC for both Robots.
So, in an effort to move forward I'm going to try and block out a little time each day to do something related to the project....

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