Team Commando Tutorial. . .

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General Outline


Team Commando's robot, the Night Crawler, is run entirely by onboard machinery. It consists of the iRobot Create base, the Command Module onboard controller, and a jury-rigged Dell Latitude laptop plus Logitech orbit webcam-on-a-stick with a flashlight ductaped to it. The two systems are currently entirely independent. The command module controls navigation, while the laptop/webcam combo do all image processing and room tabulating.

The general method goes something like this: the command module program is initialized at the same time as a MatLab script which controls the webcam. The robot follows the wall it is placed along down the hall for a specified distance. While traveling, the webcam, which is being interfaced with via RoboRealm (which in turn is being controlled by MatLab) is running a motion detection module so that it knows not to search for windows until it is motionless in a room. Once the robot reaches a door, it turns inside and stops. The lack of motion cues the MatLab script to initialize the window detection module in RoboRealm and to pan the camera 180 degrees. The camera detects whether any windows are open (via methods discussed deeper in) and stores the answer in the corresponding vector entry. The robot then leaves the room and continues its merry journey down the hall, repeating the process seven or so more times.