Today was a good day! We’ve decided what it is that our HeRos will do exactly.
– in “normal” mode: each HeRos is controlled by a user via smartphone. We’ll stream via WiFi what the camera sees directly to the smartphone (by WiFi Direct or normal WiFi, we don’t know yet). There will be no video processing after all, because the WiFi bandwidth will be enough to stream video, and the HeRos’ autonomous mode won’t be what we initially intended. The basic shots will be done with an IR laser diode, the 360° shots (and healing) will be done with an IR emitter under a diffusive dome at the top of each robot. Each robot will also have four “targets” on its surface (IR sensors with diffusive dome to increase target area) at which a direct shot has to be aimed and 3 large angle IR sensors that will detect proximity 360° shots or healing.
– in “berserk” mode: a robot can be set in this autonomous mode: the camera is turned off, and the robot isn’t controlled by a user any longer. Instead it roams the battlefield pseudo-randomly, avoiding obstacles along the way (with infrared or ultrasonic sensor, haven’t decided yet, which is better in your opinion?). While it moves, it regularly shoots a 360° proximity shot and long bursts of direct shots (IR laser diode) without aiming. For short periods of time, the 360° shooting turns into 360° healing. Basically in this mode the HeRos turns into a moving mine.
– the secondary modules will be small components containing only one element: a magnet. When “plugged” into the HeRos, each magnet will be detected by a Hall effect sensor. Our vision is: three different slots on the surface of the HeRos, each slot corresponding to a level of power: low, medium, high, and each slot having a different shape. In each slot a module of the right level (i.e. a module that fits) can be plugged. Depending on the orientation of the magnet within, it is (and is detected as such) either a defensive or an offensive module. The info from the hall sensors is then sent back to the phone and corresponding abilities are unlocked for the HeRos.
We’ve been looking for the right components to do all this (especially a camera whose DMA can connect directly to the SPI to feed the WiFi module) and we’re still looking for the right moving base (the pololu doesn’t allow us to implement odometry so we have to look for something else).
We’ve also prepared for tomorrow’s presentation of the project!
Until next time!