Older blog entries for Nic (starting at number 138)

April 20th, 2005

I didn't go to baseball practice after school because I wasn't feeling very good, so I had some daylight left when I got home to test the robot. Using a neural network trained on a couple minutes of data recorded from the robot it was able to successfully turn and avoid a garbage can in the street.

There were still some problems with position finding, however. I made some changes to the code and found a few bugs. I'll test next time I get the chance.

April 18th, 2005

I got the new OOPic chip in the mail and it works. That's a bit odd that the other one unexplainably stopped working. It isn't a good thing when parts of your autonomous ground vehicle stop working for no apparent reason.

April 16th, 2005

I took the Expeditor out to the site visit location again to try to test it. It started out sunny, but the field was almost completely under water. It doesn't seem very likely it will be dry by the site visit. After that our minivan got stuck in the mud until a helpful guy in a pick-up truck came and pulled it out. It started raining very hard soon afterwards. I still haven't waterproofed X. I need Chris to help with that but he's sick with Mono.

Before the site visit (within the next two weeks) I need to

-Waterproof the Expeditor -Find a new site visit location -Make a new route and mark it -Teach obstacle avoidance

April 15th, 2005

I reglued the throttle servo to the homemade servo horn - the original glue had broken.

April 14th, 2005

Planning on testing the waypoint following again and then teaching X some obstacle avoidance, I took it out to my dad's friend Baird's field, but I immediately encountered a problem - the engine wouldn't start. Besides this, it started raining very hard. I have to water-proof the robot - it may be raining during the site visit and it has to be able to drive anyway. I took the robot to a auto shop, but they didn't know what was wrong with it. They checked the spark plug and it worked, and then sprayed some starter fluid in the combustion chamber and tried starting it and it worked a little, but according to the man at our next stop this was a very stupid thing to do and it will burn the oil off the sides of the cylinder and then the piston will scratch it. At our next stop, a lawn-mower repair shop, we got a new spark plug and it worked perfectly. The guy there said the problem was that the engine was flooded and it damaged the spark plug. I think it became flooded when I left it sitting in my garage for several weeks and I forgot to turn the fuel cut-off on.

I guess I'll start working on waterproofing it since there's nothing I can do in the rain.

14 Apr 2005 (updated 13 Aug 2009 at 18:49 UTC) »

April 13th, 2005

I did some more programming and added some pictures to February 26th's blog at http://www.craterfish.org/teamprodigies. Our site visit is scheduled for May 3rd from 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM. Nineteen days left.

April 12th, 2005

Fixed some steering issues. The store I ordered the OOPic replacement chip from is out of stock, so I ordered another entire OOPic from a different store.

April 11th, 2005

I did a little wiring for the brake lights and audible/visible warning devices, but the OOPic unexplainedly broke, so I ordered a new chip for $33, this time a newer version.

I also made the 18 necessary markers for the site visit out of some pieces of wood and caution tape I happened to have.

April 10th, 2005

I got some connectors at Radio Shack.

April 7th, 2005

I edited the route planning simulator to simulate much less accurate sensor input from the neural networks (quite a bit less accurate than I'm expecting) and it still worked pretty well. Next week is Spring Break so I can teach X to avoid garbage cans in a field for the site visit. It will be awesome.

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