Last weekend, RJ Linton, Benzun Wisely, and Velin Dimitrov participated in the Atmel Robot Challenge held at the World Maker Faire at the Hall of Science in New York City. The challenge consisted of designing a building a robot around the DFRobot 4WD platform that can follow lines on a marked course. In addition, the robot must pick up and sort two golf balls and two ping pong balls. We wanted to tackle a significant challenge and considering RJ and Ben’s interest in computer vision decided to use two webcam as the only sensors for the robot. There are no IR/sonar range sensors, encoders, or optical flow sensors. Unfortunately, we had problems with the stability of the switching power supplies at the bottom of the robot and were unable to compete.
We are not done with development on the platform though. We will implement a Linux image with Debian, ROS, and OpenCV so the robot can be used by students in the upcoming Unified Robotics IV class in B term taught by Prof. Padir. We look forward to having a working robot! Finally, here is a picture of three of us at the Maker Faire.