Let's Make Robots!

Robot Bravo

Vision guided line following to start with

Video added August 16, 2009. 


I'm using this platform to experiment with vision processing.  It uses the Blackfin Camera with the Matchport WIFI module. The chassis is made of 1/8" light plywood, bass wood, and balsa wood.  So far it does pretty well with line following. Now I need to work on some vision based obstacle avoidance so that it can stray off the electrical tape.  I am using a first surface mirror to split the camera's view in half so it has a simultaneous view forward and rearward.

angle2.jpg

The main drive wheels may be recognized by some of you as the factory wheels and tires from a classic Associated RC10 buggy. The small wheels are large plastic beads from a cheap bracelet I found at a department store. The axles are made from a large paper clip. I plan on replacing them with some Pololu ball casters since Robot Bravo struggles turning a bit depending on the surface it is on. In the mean time it should help to shift more weight to the drive wheels. I have a couple of MaxSonar EZ1 sensors that I'd like to put on, one facing forward and one rearward (I haven't figured out which way is forward quite yet).

This is what Robot Bravo sees in the mirror:

Bravo's View

It is similar to an omni camera, but not quite that extreme.  I am considering making the mirrors adjustable with a micro servo so that Robot Bravo could see above the horizon when it is not following a line. 

Programming of the Blackfin is done over WIFI from my computer directly to the robot. Surveyor Corp. really has a nice setup here.  A bit pricey for sure, but it has been a pleasure to work with. I don't recommend it for those without a lot of programming experience though.

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I simply dont know where to start! Got a camera, got several platforms to connect it to but how does it work in code this line following with a camera..? Does anyone have a good page, tutorial, sourcecode perhaps??

at the moment I hate the very word "camera" but other than that great job!
Video added showing basic line following as well as some hardware evolution.

I thought I'd punched the Post button on this question yesterday. Must have sidetracked myself...

Does the blackfin's IO control the drive system as well? Or do you have an additional micro in there somewhere?

The blackfin directly controls the servo motors. The Blackfin Camera is a fully capable robot controller on its own.  It doesn't have analog inputs, but otherwise it will do all your normal stuff. 
Rock on. I may have to get me one of those ;)
Clean design, well made, 5 stars
The using of the mirrors is very ingenious! Do keep us updated on your progresses, i think vision processing will get the attention of many LMR members. 

I don't think I've seen that done on LMR before.

Also, is your robot processing the camera image to follow the line or are there other sensors involved.

Great looking robot!

The camera is currently the only sensor Robot Bravo possesses. The line following is completely with the onboard vision processing. I'll have to get a video made.

~michael