Brainbot is finally Autonomous
So, its been a while since I updated here. Things have been busy, but I ran into some mechanical issues, and then had a really hard time finding a compass sensor that would work on this platform, given the off-road (and thus uneven ground) issues it runs into.
I finally solved the compass issue by buying the new Sparkfun Razor 9 DOF IMU sensor, and loaded the provided AHRS software onto it, but even that didn't work exactly right. The heading reading provided was very non-linear over the full 360 degrees. I fixed it in a very brute-force way, by building a turntable I could place Brainbot onto, and then coding a lookup table to convert IMU heading into real heading.
To the right is a graph showing the actual heading versus the IMU heading.
Here's a video showing the first autonomous run:
This is a video showing the second autonomous run, which is the same mission as the first one, but I start the robot on the "wrong" heading, and it auto-corrects (at the beginning):
Now that the heading issue is (hopefully) solved, things should progress at a much more rapid pace. Next up is integrating obstacle avoidance, using the Hokuyo laser scanner, followed by visual servoing using the camera.