Thursday, July 26, 2007

Meeting 010

We had a very successful time today, although once again work and real life limited the number of participants -- it was only me, Ron, and Kimberly.

Due to the absence of our Fearless Leader, there are no pictures of the session itself, but an updated photo may be taken early next week. The structure itself hasn't changed all that much; I redid the marker track support so that it no longer interferes with the hopper pulley wheel, and Kimberly attached the structure with the buckets to the superstructure; this made calibrating the marker bricks possible, and also helped stabilize the structure overall (the color sensor enclosure was unbalancing the structure somewhat).

I had gotten a start on the software, but hadn't had a chance to try it out with the actual brick and 'bot. Ron and I worked on getting some of the rudimentary functionality working. We learned the difference between tasks (they run concurrently, and can interfere with each other) and subroutines (which are more what we're used to), and once we got that straightened out, things came together nicely.

We had some problems at first with the counting of the markers; either the 'bot would keep going and stop counting, or it would stop in the wrong place. With some fiddling -- and creative thinking from Ron -- we got some functions working.

So now the 'bot will:

  • Start from the soon-to-be-hopper end of the track and move itself into position under the sensor (done via timing, based on an engine power of 5)
  • Count markers until it gets to the one it needs, and then stop (sensing isn't happening yet, so we hard-code the bucket number at this point)
  • Count markers until it reaches the hopper end of the track again

All in all, very cool! It's just a pity work isn't as interesting!

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