With drive now becoming a reality, it was time for me to start thinking about the challenges and how we would be completing them. With each challenge, we wanted to design a dock which could be configured to complete the challenges in multiple ways, as to have a failsafe if something wasn’t to go as planned.
With a lot of the challenges being autonomous, it was paramount we choose a reliable camera. We had 2 choices, either the Pixy Cam 2 or the Raspberry Pi camera module. After much deliberation, we decided to use the Pixy Cam 2, as it offered a very comprehensive C++ Api, SPI support, making it easier to disconnect/re-connect and also has an inbuilt microprocessor for image/object recognition.
Up The Garden Path
Up the garden path was one of the courses we were most cautious of as it could only be completed in one way, autonomously. Because of this, we decided to choose 2 components to enable us to follow the line. We chose both a IR Infrared Line Follower Array, and the Pixy Cam 2. To achieve maximum points, our intention it to solely use the camera, however in the event we run into issues, we can still use the IR sensors to complete the challenge. Because of this, we need to build a dock which allows the IR sensors to sit low to the ground to avoid light pollution, and place the camera close to the edge, enabling it to be angled to get a close and clear view of the line.
Feed The Fish
With the feed the fish challenge, there are 4 ways in which we can complete it:
- Autonomous, shot into the top box
- Remote control, shot into the top box
- Autonomous, rolled into the bottom box
- Remote control, rolled into the bottom box
Our plan is to shoot a nerf bullet into the top of the tank, using a modified nerf gun however we also wanted to have the means of rolling a ball into the bottom of the tank in case the shooting mechanism was to fail. We picked up a xShot 6 bullet nerf style gun, which we after a few test office gun fights, feel will be more than capable to complete the challenge!
Tidy Up The Toys
Tidying the toys again could be completed in a variety of ways, with the challenge either being completed autonomously, or manually, and with the option of either placing or stacking the toys in the target area. We had a variety of options in terms of gathering the blocks, some of which are below:
- Collect them using a claw mechanism
- Gather all the blocks at once using a crane mechanism
- push the blocks using a plate to the correct location
With the deadline already fat approaching, we have decided to use a claw style attachment, as it means by adding a singular servo, we can both stack or place the blocks in the target area.
With all the courses now planned, it is time to get to work designing them. The plan is for me to design and manufacture them primarily again through CAD and 3D printing and then pass them over to Aaron to get them functional and completing the course!
Sounds simple right? 😝
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