D107-99 / 4225
Each aspect of the robot was mod-
eled using computer-aided design soft-
ware. Even the operator control panel
was initially planned using computer-
based design tools before it was con-
structed with real dials and switches.
The computer-aided drawings served
as a record of the design that was eval-
uated to examine functions and make
Control Features For
Intuitive control was a guiding principle
1114. This strategy, adopted
to simplify driving, led to the creation of
four control features: drive base lock,
autonomous target check, camera aim-
ing, and curved shooting.
Drive base lock was the control algo-
rithm developed to maintain the robot’s
position and orientation at a specific
location on the field. A simple click of
the joystick trigger relinquished driver
control to the onboard microprocessor.
Using wheel encoders and a gyrocom-
pass, the microprocessor detected any
motion and automatically corrected that
motion to maintain position. In this
mode of operation, the robot would
automatically fight to stay in position,
thereby creating a stationary platform
from which to fire balls into the goal.
Autonomous target check was
applied to continually monitor the cam-
era output for the presence of the target
light. If the robot was knocked off
course and the camera lost the target,
the ball firing mechanism halted and the
robot automatically turned back in the
direction of the light until the target was
relocated. This feature ensured that
balls would only be fired when they
could be scored.
The inside of the frame includes a tray to
support other robot systems. Dual motors on
each side of the robot, along with a gear box
capable of operating at different speeds, provide
the robot with a range of power.
Tread tracks drive the robot and keep the
center of the machine free to collect and lift balls.
RF_162_179.qxd 2/1/07 10:31 AM Page 164