Diary of a Student Engineer Part 7: Obstacle Course Time

Coding

Caster Wheel with Necessary Ballast
  • Shorten the script! When the code repeats itself a lot, the solution is almost always to write a function that can replace all the unnecessary code. In this scenario, the script wasn’t too long so it wasn’t too big a hassle to copy and paste, but inefficient? Yes.
  • Incorporate self-balancing code. This would take time but would be an interesting challenge nonetheless. It wasn’t necessary for this assignment but would maybe be something worth revisiting in the future.
  • Motor drift. After some testing, the motors started to drift out of sync and so the robot started to collide with obstacles, inducing a lot of frustration. To fix this I increased the speed of one of the motors to make up for the asynchronous behaviour. This was a short term solution. If I was to do it again, I think it would be far more useful to incorporate data from Hall sensors to write a handy programme that could automatically prevent this problem from occurring.
Approach taken for navigating course

Testing

Testing the Launcher
Obstacle Course Video w/ elevator music for your enjoyment

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