Aluminator Gets Rolling

Rolling bot #1.jpgThe Miners are coming down to the wire in writing code changes at the annual Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition here in the Detroit suburbs. Richard Allen is leading the frenzied effort to get the machine “thinking” on its own. One student said that on sunny days the sensors would easily recognize the white lines, but when the robot approached the plywood bridges the painted platform would reflect too much light which Aluminator would then recognize as distracting spots, so some code had to be re-written to solve that problem.
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On this slope Aluminator had no trouble recognizing the lines but wet conditions caused the tires to lose traction on the ramp, partly because the trailing rear wheel was getting caught on the ramp’s edge. It took the ‘bot several running starts to clear the ramp edge and drive over the bridge.
The Miners have the robot back in the barn while they attempt to work out the last bugs.
In the meantime most teams’ work is done and there is little to do when your robot is not on the course. Here are a few ways that students pass the time:
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