Will the real Schrödingbot please stand up?

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Yes…We’re busy figuring out which will be the chassis…

And! I just saw Jumbot the Skittlephant! He looks amaaaaaazing!
Literally sooo good! I am so excited for you guys to meet our other non-human members of our team 🙂
Only a week to go 😀

(Please excuse all the italics – it’s just what happens when I get super-excited).

You picked a fine time to leave me Loose Wheel…

…With an awaiting competition and a…blah blah blah.

So, one wheel kept falling off, and the motor brackets worked themselves loose. This was probably because the bolt holes allow a little movement.

But hey ho! Duct tape saved the day 🙂

Today I’m setting up a YouTube account so’s you followers-o’-ours can watch Schrödingbot and our team trailer…

So, until later today-
Toodles!

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Loose Wheels….

Nobody wants to talk about the elephant in the room…

An idiomatic post…quite a few catty (or rather, cattish) ones!

…Or so the saying goes.
I’m biting my lips (or fingers, rather, as I’m typing), because I don’t want to give our major surprise away.

((sadly the cat doesn’t have my tongue))
((clamps lips))
((refuses to let the cat out of the bag))
((tries to stop typing))
((bursts))

OKAY. Here’s the thing…if I give you guys a tiny peek…then your insatiable curiosity will be satisfied (and you won’t die) and I’ll be alive again with satisfaction.
“Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought him back.”
…Or so the saying goes.

Right, so the photos attached are of our newest friend (and team member)…”Nameless” the Elephant. Comment with name ideas! But don’t anyone dare to be a…copycat. If you do, then that’s bad. Okay, clamming up.

Challenge-wise…we’re getting there. Spencer did an amazing job on line-following! We’ve got to show you the video sometime (must start a YouTube channel) – lil’ Schrödingbot does awesome! And he’s hilarious at the same time…just goes to show, he’s got all of our senses of humour…he drives (haha!) us crazy and makes us laugh at the same time!
Minimal maze…improvements every day…
Bowling thing is incredible! At least, it was without motors, and with manpower – I haven’t seen how it works attached to technological things.

So until the next update! And you don’t have to hold your horses as the update should be soon,
We remain,
THE PiONEERS

 

The Aria of…Schrödingbot?

Bravo!
La la la la la la laaa!

La la la la la la laaa!
Please solve this ma-aze
Please, I ask you
Please, I ask you
Just a little
Thing to ask

((intense music))

Ah bravo Schrödingo bravo bravissimo
Bravo!
La la la la la la laaa!

Yes, I resorted to opera singing…Schrödingbo, Schrödingbo, Schrödingbo, Schrödingbo, Schrödingbot…
The tune (if you’d like to imagine it) comes from The Barber of Seville, Figaro’s Aria. It’s quite hilarious, really, if you try to match it 🙂

But the exciting news is that our lil ‘bot actually solved the maze! Twice! Okay, so what is a few hit walls? *clears throat* A few penalties? Hmm…well, we’re still working on the total wall avoidance method.

But we have found that the age-old moral is right. ‘Slow and steady wins the race’…a least, we hope. (Thanks, Uncle B!)

What would you do in our situation? Right now, Schrödingbot’s sensors are place front on, and at about 45° angle either side. They were at 90°, but that didn’t exactly work. So do we put them at less of an angle, because they keep non-sensing one wall? (The wall at an angle after making the third turn). It’s a toughie. Any advice welcome!

See y’all soon! Less than a month to go! Woop, woop!
So, til then, we remain,
THE PiONEERS

PS The newest addition after the Schrödingboppers (which, by the way, are orange), is Chestnut the Meerkat (refrains adding ‘for lack of a better name’). Some people really like that name! I don’t have anything against it…and he’s very cute! I can’t wait for y’all to meet our team members…that is, the non-human ones!

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GUEST POST!!! Blood, sweat, and tears…er, I mean line following

Alright, so there weren’t any tears, (although I did sob inwardly when I realised it wouldn’t turn), but there were both blood and sweat.
So, I’ve been working on the PS£ control and the line following challenge, and having gotten the code out of ‘alpha’ was ready to test on a proper course. I grabbed to 2015 off the PiWars website, and after some magic from PosteRazor (you’ll find it on sourceforge.net) I had a pdf with 54 pages of white space or black lines. The image is 70% of the original to get the 15mm width line mentioned in the description for the course, which means our test course is technically smaller than the original but that makes the turns tighter…if we can handle this we should be ok with the real thing, right?
So, having printed out the course I grabbed G to help me stick it all together, which is where the blood and sweat came into it. I was sweating what with all the jumping up and down to grab sheets of paper, line ’em up and stick ’em down. Then came the blood as G managed to cut his hand on the ‘spiky bit’ at the front of the tape dispenser, (the bit that cuts the tape), but a short pitstop later to administer antiseptic cream and a plaster and we got it done.
At this point L came along with two comments, one that she needed to cook dinner so we had to get out of the kitchen, the second after we’d moved it into the lounge a rather good idea about sticking the flimsy A4 sheets we’d bodged together to larger and more sturdy card we happened to have. This makes it much easier to move about.
Dinner, family time (a movie!), and G going to bed meant i got back to it later in the evening, at which point it became obvious my haste to print out the course in ‘standard’ was a bad move, as the sensor (the seemingly very popular 3-way one from Mr. Walmsley at Ryanteck) couldn’t see it, not matter how I fiddled with the potentiometer. A quick check with something actually black confirmed it was the line, and so out came a black felt tip pen. Some time later there was a *proper* black line, which the sensor had no trouble seeing.
So, what happened when the test was run? Well, it went forward fine, but the first time it saw the line on one of the side sensors it tried to turn…and failed.It tried its best (bless it!) but just got stuck.

Speaking to Jacques today he’s seen the same problem, and has suggested going back to AA batteries to power the motors. I’m picking up some six battery clips on the way home tonight and will give it a go, if the journey home hasn’t ground away my will to live 🙂

Spencer

Welcome to…

The newest members of our team…the Schrödingboppers!

Prize to anyone who can guess what colours they are (mainly, obviously. Not the colours I mentioned)…no cheating!

They’re super cool…and they represent each child member of our team 🙂

G, you’re twin blue deely-bopper, twinned with twin blue deely-bopper, M. A, you’re bright pink deely-bopper, C you’re purple deeply-bopper. T, you’re green and S (me, the blogger) you are light pink.

 

Congratulations to Schrödingbot who’s had a growth spurt (much like G), meaning he’s got some new shoes! Yay!

Stay tuned for the next new member…I’ll give you a hint, he goes by the name of…Gopher.

See ya soon!

Tschüss! Tot siens! ¡Adios! Atā!

The problem with three ears…

SchrödingbAt has an issue with his three ears.

‘Is it earache?’ I hear you ask. ‘Is he going deaf? Tinnitus?’

We appreciate your concern…but the clue’s in the nickname. SchrödingbAt.

His echolocation is a little off. His three sensors are causing problems. As I (the blogger), am not particularly technical with coding stuff…I shall explain it to you as best I can:

He has three sensors, aka, his ears. They are placed on the front and both sides of him. Each ear sends off a signal and receives it back and that tells him how far away each side is from a solid surface. But what do you do when one ear picks up another ear’s signal? Or if the signal is given to a shiny surface and it pings back in a different direction?

See? The problem with having three ears…no wonder we humans were made with two. Or none…what with selective hearing and all that.

Those interferences and issues are called ‘noise’. This leads to poor lil’ Schrödingbot crashing through walls. For example, front ear reads, or rather, hears that the wall is five cm away…so slooooows or turns. But right ear decides that the mirror is a cool place to ping his signal and then that makes front ear confused and think that the wall has moved to 28cm away so he does his crashing-through-walls movement. Poor ‘bot.

‘So, what is the solution?’ I hear you ask. Weeeeellllll. J wrote an algorithm, which is a fancy word for ‘a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer’. The algorithm takes a series of readings (or in this case, listenings) and returns the most similar values in order to drive correctly and filter out the noise. How cool is that?

(And J is doing a happy dance ((this is where the children cringe)) because he thinks it works!)

So until the next update,

We remain, THE PiONEERS

Decisions, decisions

Hi folks!

We have to choose stuff. That’s proving difficult.  I actually think we may be the most indecisive group of people ever! What an accomplishment 😉

No…we’ve made our decisions regarding the board size, wheel size and other stuff. It’s just all the little things to decide that amount into big stuff.

We actually have a really, really cool idea for each challenge 😀 but I won’t say…it’s a surprise – you’ll have to come watch so you can find out. The other option is, is that we may post a video/videos on YouTube at some point, but that is yet another thing to discuss and then decide ((laughs))!

Anyway. About Schrödingbot…well…he’s doing fine 🙂 he’s actually being remodelled at the moment which is exciting. He can go forwards and backwards and turn in circles! He’s really progressing…at least…our coding is.

Update y’all soon!

The PiONEERS (and lil Schrödingbot) bid you goodbye.

This is LIVE! As in, happening now…and earlier…

13:12:34 – soldering

13:12:35 – soldering

13:12:36 – soldering

13:12:37 – soldering

13:12:38 – skew soldering

13:12:43 – fixing

13:12:56 – back to soldering

And so on. We’re using some new motors to do stuff with, and discussing loads of ideas, for how to accomplish each test.

14:37:58 – coding

14:37:59 – coding

14:38:00 – coding

14:38:01 – laughter

14:38:02 – coding

We are coding lots! Hoping to work out how to turn the robot so we can accomplish the maze. Just to announce: the robot looks INCREDIBLE for the minimal maze challenge (hint: think animals, if you want an idea of how it will look).

Planning-wise, things are not as finalised as the organised blogger + sister would love…but it’s better than no plan! We have many, many, things on our to-do list.

19 weeks ’til the PiWars…so really, it’s about two-and-a-half weeks per challenge, if we wanted to consolidate a challenge at a time. However, what seems to be better, is to develop one section at a time, for example, the remote control coding, because it can be applied to more than just one challenge.

So, brief update for y’all! Will post photo’s soon as well.

14:50:21 – Signing off

THE PiONEERS…and li’l Schrödingbot