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Team Spot A Cooperative Robotics Problem A Robotics Academy Project: Laurel Hesch Emily Mower Addie Sutphen Project Goal Develop a team of autonomous robots that will, within a fixed boundary: Communicate with each other Locate a spot of light on the Robotable

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team spot a cooperative robotics problem

Team SpotA Cooperative Robotics Problem

A Robotics Academy Project:Laurel Hesch

Emily Mower

Addie Sutphen

project goal
Project Goal

Develop a team of autonomous robots that will, within a fixed boundary:

  • Communicate with each other
  • Locate a spot of light on the Robotable
  • Follow the spot of light as it moves across table
last semester lego prototype
Last Semester Lego Prototype
  • 1 mobile Lego RCX robot
  • 2 stationary Lego RCX robot

Mobile Robot

Stationary Robot

last semester first prototype
Last SemesterFirst Prototype
  • Team of 1 mobile and 2 stationary robots.
      • PVC Body
      • PIC chip microprocessor
      • IR communication
this semester
This Semester
  • Development Process
    • Prototype
      • Evaluated first semester prototype
      • Prototyped new robots
    • Programming and EE Design
      • Added complexity to the problem
      • Developed new and more accurate algorithms
      • Developed more accurate communication system
    • Production
      • Modified prototype
      • Final build
completed robot team
Old Elements

PIC chip microprocessor

Reliable and easy to use.

Robot Motors and wheels

New Elements


New, robot friendly, body design

Sleek Lexan Material


Long range bluetooth

More reliable communication


New computation algorithm

Completed Robot Team
product research
Product Research
  • Mobile robots, autonomous robots, robot teams
  • Robot Body Design
  • Communication between robots
  • Microprocessors
electrical oopic chip
ElectricalOOPic Chip
  • Programming Language: Object Oriented Basic
  • 31 I/O pins and additional voltage sources for device interface.
  • Voltage source used for Bluetooth communication, the servo motors, and the photo-resistor circuits.
electrical motor control
ElectricalMotor Control
  • Microprocessors control all servo motors
  • Due to highly variable torque- constant motion across motors has not been established
  • Robot Motion
    • Controlled pulses sent to servo motors
    • Mobile Robot: Calculated using a set of trig functions (will be discussed later)
    • Stationary Robot: Determined through trial and error
electical light sensing
ElecticalLight Sensing
  • Simple photo-resistor placed in series with a resistor
    • Output voltage measured at the junction of the two resistors
  • Voltage level inputted to microprocessor using the analog to digital converter
  • Accuracy hampered by ambient light spots brighter than the spot being sought.
algorithms flowchart of functionality
AlgorithmsFlowchart of Functionality

The position of the greatest spot is transmitted via Bluetooth to the mobile robot.

Stationary robots scan for position of brightest light.

Mobile robot reads in light value

Interprets value using trig functions

Mobile Robot moves to correct position

algorithms stationary robot algorithm 1
AlgorithmsStationary Robot Algorithm: 1
  • Goal:
    • Determine location of spot of greatest light intensity
    • Convert location into angle measure
    • Transmit angle measure to mobile robot via Bluetooth (to be discussed later)
algorithms stationary robot algorithm 2
AlgorithmsStationary Robot Algorithm: 2
  • Method:
    • Sweep through 90 degrees
    • Number of stops depends on strength of battery
    • Store location of greatest light and covert to the range accepted by the OOPic sine function
algorithms mobile robot algorithm 1
AlgorithmsMobile Robot Algorithm: 1
  • Goal:
    • Given angle measurements from stationary robots compute location of spot of light
    • Advance to spot of light
    • Find new spot of greatest light intensity
    • Follow new spot
algorithms mobile robot algorithm 2
AlgorithmsMobile Robot Algorithm: 2
  • Method:
    • Using sine functions on OOPic chip calculate location of spot of light
    • Advance to spot of light using pulses of motor
    • Once at spot of light, rotate 360 degrees to find the new spot of greatest light intensity
    • Follow the new spot by keeping the light between the three light sensors on front
communications the need for wireless
CommunicationsThe need for wireless
  • Goal:
    • Send angle measurements serially between stationary and mobile robots.
  • First Semester: Infrared communications
  • Second Semester: Bluetooth communications
communications infrared
  • Serial infrared communication was attempted in the first semester.
  • Problems:
    • The range was too small.
    • Significant accuracy problems.
    • True serial communications was not established, meaning that pulses representing angle measurements had to be sent.
    • This adaptation added an additional level of inaccuracy.
communications bluetooth
  • Bluetooth is a open platform communications protocol for short distance, high throughput, low power communications. 
  • Advantages:
    • Range up to 30 feet.
    • A master device can potentially connect with up to 8 slave devices at a time.
    • Each device has a unique 48 bit address, which results in highly accurate identification.
    • Bluetooth is also very low power (1mW)
mechanical motors and gearing
MechanicalMotors and Gearing
  • Hitech HS-422 Motors
    • Purchased from Lynx Motion
    • Modified for continuous rotation
  • Gearing
    • Removed internal gear
    • Geared down stationary robot motors
mechanical body design
MechanicalBody Design
  • Last semesters design large and bulky
    • Square shape interfered with light sensing
  • Developed round design
    • In scale with Robotable
    • Concurrent with light sensors
    • Better mobility
mechanical final design
Mechanical Final Design




opportunity for future research
Opportunity for Future Research
  • Continuing Bluetooth robotic applications
  • Implementation of full Bluetooth functionality
  • Algorithms to find multiple spots
  • Integration of chemical “nose”
  • Expansion of robot team
  • Integration of multiple robot teams
special thanks
Special Thanks
  • James the Bluetooth Man
  • Warren Gagosian
  • Chris Rogers
  • Matt Dombach
  • Jim Hoffman
  • Robotics Academy Professors
  • TUFTL lab