Posted by: freesystem | February 27, 2008

Project Update: Autonomous Search and Rescue Robot

I ran some field tests today for basic object avoidance. The verdict: failure. The concept is good, but this robot was really built for indoor terrain, and was no match for anything like gravel or steep inclines. It really does not make much sense, as I thought the tank tread type things would work better, but sometimes you just never know. Anyway, I’m going to beef up the whole thing a bit. I am getting a real printed circuit board made, so I can can the breadboard. Its going to be based on the ATmega2561 instead of the ATmega32, so there should be some improvements there. Its also going to have a magnetic compass, GPS, CMU Camera and a few more range finders. The CMU Camera is a neat little device. Its a camera capable or object tracking and stuff like that. I have not messed around with mine much, I just got it to track a bright orange ping pong ball. I have not chosen a GPS yet, but I am looking at the Copernicus model that Sparkfun sells. If any of you have recommendations or experience with a specific model please let me know. I am probably going to stick with the Vex servo motors, but have 4 of them in four wheel drive, and larger wheels(5 inch diameter). That way the robot will be further off the ground, and hopefully be able to handle in worse terrain.

Here are some pics of the first robot:

Circuit Board Close UpFront ViewBack ViewAngle View

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