Thursday, June 19, 2014

How to Train your Robot

Here is my best idea yet: Go out and drive the robot manually around a course that can be seen from Google Earth. Record the GPS and compass data with the robot controller in "passenger" mode. Then take that data and run it through a program written on a desktop computer. It is able to run the filter and navigate in faster than real-time. It can calculate what guidance it should have, and what control it would have used. You can then see if it is working, and do corrections and bug fixes off-line. Only when it can drive perfectly offline, do you load the code onto the robot controller and give it the keys.

We have program passenger.cpp, written in C++ just like the robot controller firmware, with much of its code symlinked directly from the YukariII codebase. The only part of passenger.cpp that is different is that the code reads a recording rather than reading live data. When it encounters each packet, it loads it, then calls the YukariII code to act on it. It then prints out the results.

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